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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 





7 J-x_ 




That shire which we the heart of England well may call." 












'THE present volume of the POPULAR COUNTY 
HISTORIES is the fifth of the series in which it 

The indulgence of subscribers is craved for the lateness of its 
appearance, circumstances which need not be particularized 
have hindered its publication for many months. It is intended 
that the succeeding volumes shall be issued in more rapid suc- 
cession : and with greater regularity than has marked the 
previous ones. 










2 3 I 




The Forest of Arden. British and Saxon Times. Roman Occupa- 
tion. Norman Conquest. Wars of the Roses. Gunpowder Plot. 
Great Civil War. Battle of Edge Hill. City of Refuge. 
Rupert's Raid on Birmingham. Sacheverell Rioting. Birming- 
ham, the ' Hardware Village.' Reform Bill Agitation. 

MICHAEL DRAYTON'S line in his ' Polyolbion ' (xiii. 2), 
1 Th3t shire which we the heart of England well may call/ 
and his marginal note that * Warwickshire is the middle 
shire of England, 5 fully justify his claim that his native 
county is the central shire, as a glance at any map will 
show. A line drawn from Berwick-on-Tweed to the Isle 
of Wight, from Dover to the Isle of Anglesey, and from 
the Severn to the Humber, intersect each other in War- 
wickshire, which is, therefore, fairly entitled to its claim to 
be the central county. Its comparative isolation from the 
coast-lines has, however, been modified by the number of 
great old roads which have traversed its surface, from the 
old British ' ways ' to the Icknield (or Rykenield) Street, 
and the Watling Street of Roman times. The Icknield 
Street runs through the county from south to north, and 
crosses the Watling Street, which forms the north-east 


History of Warwickshire. 

boundary of the county, and still retains its name as a 
great highway. Two roads cross at Etocetum, near Wall 
and Lichfield, and respectively antedate the Midland and 
North- Western Railways of our days as to their local 
direction. The county is surrounded by Leicestershire) 
Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Stafford- 
shire and Derbyshire. Some of the points of contact 
are limited as to size, and Birmingham practically 
extends into Worcestershire and Staffordshire. The 
name is derived from that of the county town Warwick, 
the origin of which is not clearly determined ; but it has 
certainly some connection with a tribe of Wiccii, who, 
with the Cornavii, occupied this part of England before 
the Roman invasion. The early history is very obscure, 
and few definite details are available till the Roman 
Conquest, when Ostorius Scapula, A.D. 50, the second 
Roman governor, established a series of military posts on 
the Severn, and the district was afterwards included in the 
province known as Flavia Caesariensis, and in later days as 
the division called Brittania Secunda. Few traces of 
Roman occupation have been found, except on the lines 
of the two great roads, the Ikenield and the Watling 
Street ; and even thereon, as usual, only near the principal 
' stations/ The survival of the Roman castrum appears 
most prominently in the name of Mancetter (Mandues- 
sedum) on the north-eastern boundary of the county, but 
in the next county of Stafford the name Etocetum marks 
the line of a Roman road. The facts of the Roman 
occupation of the district are also few. The woodland 
country evidently gave great security to the various tribes, 
and the influence of the Roman invaders extended very 
little beyond their own roads and camps. The successor 
of Ostorius, however, seems to have made some conces- 
sions to the British chieftains of the Wiccii (Venusius), 
who were allowed to retain some rights and some inde- 
pendence ; but Venusius afterwards joined the Silures in 

The Forest of Arden. 

>pposing the Romans, and under Suetonius Paulinus the 
Loman domination was completed and secured. 
Warwickshire was, in fact, the real 'Arden,' which 
practically included the whole county, and very little if 
any beyond its boundaries, and was chiefly inhabited by 
the Wiccian Ceangi, or herdsmen so far as the south part 
of the county was concerned and this was known as the 
' Feldon,' while the county north of the Avon was known 
as the 'Woodland/ Arden being divided into these two 
parts. The Woodland is described by Drayton as almost 
entirely forest, while the Feldon was more open country, 
partially cleared and cultivated, but still with many patches 
of forests and woods. The Arden, the common Keltic 
name for a forest, referred to, is further described by 
Drayton ' to have been the largest of the British forests,' 
and it extended from the banks of the Avon to the Trent 
on the north, and possibly to the Severn on the west, while 
on the east it had a probable boundary in a line from the 
High Cross on the Watling Street to Burton-on-Trent. 
These limits are somewhat doubtful, but it is certain that 
' Arden ' was practically all Warwickshire, and probably 
included the forest-land of neighbouring counties. On 
the division of England into shires, the counties of Wor- 
cester and Stafford took various portions of the old wild 
Arden, and the name remains now only in Warwickshire, 
where Henley-in-Arden in the ' Feldon,' and Hampton-in- 
Arden in the 'Woodland/ still preserve the old sylvan 

After the departure of the Romans from Britain the 
history of Warwickshire is almost blank. Its midland 
site clearly secured it from the tumults and invasions 
which troubled the seaboard counties, and left its people 
in comparative peace. Credda was the first Saxon com- 
mander who penetrated into woody Warwickshire, and 
historians have scarcely any record of the county until 
the establishment of the Saxon heptarchy, when it 

i 2 

History of Warwickshire. 

became part of the great kingdom of Mercia, and had its 
share of the rule and rude pomp of the Mercian kings. 
Tamworth only a part of which is now in the county- 
was the seat of several of the Mercian monarchs, and the 
village of Kingsbury, on the Tame, was once a famous 
place as a royal residence. A tumulus at Seckington 
marks the site of the battle and the burial of West 
Saxons and Danes (when Tamworth had been destroyed 
by the Danes), and where Ethelbald, the tenth King of 
Mercia, fought (A.D. 757) Cuthred, King of the West 
Saxons, and was slain by Barged, one of his own men. 

The Norman Conquest begins the first formal record of 
Warwickshire by the famous survey of lands and land- 
owners in Domesday Book, which not only gives a 
contemporary report, but a comparative report of the 
areas, possessions, and valuation of lands in the time 
of Edward the Confessor, in whose reign a similar but 
smaller survey had been made. The famous Saxon 
Chronicle, too, gives many details of names and places, 
but cannot be compared as to facts and history with the 
Conqueror's survey. This great national work includes a 
mass of details, principally territorial or personal, but others 
of the greatest value as to names of places, condition of 
cities, towns and villages, and especially as to possessions 
and values of lands, manors, mills, churches, priests, 
villeins, ploughs, woods and forests, which are minute 
and careful enough to enable the student eight centuries 
later to gain a vivid picture of Warwickshire, as well as of 
nearly all the English counties. The Norman William 
may almost be forgiven for his conquest and his confisca- 
tions, in consideration of the ample details which his 
survey affords of the condition of England before and 
during his reign. The survey, begun in 1081 and com- 
pleted in 1086, is in every way a wonderful work, and a 
lasting honour to the Norman scribes, by whose skill and 
care it was compiled. Its principal Warwickshire interest 

British and Saxon Times. 5 


is in its citation of the names of Saxon landowners and 
their possessions, and especially of those of Turchill, who, 
after fortifying Warwick Castle at the command of the 
King, was then dispossessed, and his vast tracts of land 
given to Henry de Newburgh, one of the Conqueror's 
favourites. Also included in the survey is a list of the 
other Norman followers to whom lands were granted, of 
the highest historic value, which is increasingly appre- 
ciated as the great Survey Record is more fully studied 
and explored. 

The reign of Henry III. owed to Warwickshire some 
important chapters of the history of those troublous times. 
The famous Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who 
held Kenilworth Castle, had garrisoned the place, and 
appointed Sir John GifTard governor, and the garrison 
frequently ravaged the country and destroyed the houses 
and farms. The Earl of Warwick having taken the side 
of the King, Sir John GifFard and his troops surprised and 
attacked Warwick Castle, and took the Earl and Countess 
prisoners, and became a terror to the neighbourhood by 
another attack on Brandon Castle, near Coventry, which 
they demolished. A year after the Battle of Lewes, in 
which the Earl of Leicester and the Barons gained a 
victory, and just before the Battle of Evesham which 
Prince Edward and his party won Simon de Montfort, 
son of the Earl of Leicester, who was proceeding from 
London with his army to join his father in Wales, was 
surprised at Kenilworth by Prince Edward, who made 
a forced and sudden march there, and routed and dispersed 
De Montfort's troops, and took the Earl of Oxford and 
many other famous persons prisoners. De Montfort, who 
had remained in Kenilworth Castle, contrived to escape 
hurriedly ; and Prince Edward felt unable to attack a 
castle of such enormous strength. In a skirmish, how- 
ever, the Prince seized ' prodigious booty,' including 
fifteen standards, which he carried in front of his army 

History of Warwickshire. 

on his march to Evesham. They served as a decoy to the 
Earl of Leicester, who thought his own son was approach- 
ing, but soon saw his error, and exclaimed : ' May God then 
receive our souls, for our bodies are in the power of our 
enemies.' After the Battle of Evesham, where the Earl of 
Leicester was slain, his son, De Montfort, who had escaped, 
returned to Kenilworth, but afterwards fled to France, and 
Henry de Hastings was left as governor of the Castle. 
Henry III. approached with a large army, and although 
the garrison made a brave and memorable defence, famine 
compelled a surrender after a fierce six months' siege. 

The Wars of the Roses contributed another chapter to 
Warwickshire history. The county was divided in allegi- 
ance to the c Two Roses.' The members of the House of 
Neville (of which the Earl of Warwick was a distinguished 
branch) supported the House of York, and his territorial in- 
fluence made the party extremely strong in the county. The 
town of Warwick was, therefore, necessarily on the * York ' 
side, while the city of Coventry, only twelve miles distant, 
was thoroughly Lancastrian ; and as Henry and Margaret 
had won the favour of the citizens by frequent visits, and had 
made the city and some neighbouring parishes a separate 
'county/ the affection and gratitude were increased. In 
1460, when a strong force under the Earl of Warwick and 
the Earl of Marche (afterwards Edward IV.) proceeded to 
London in search of the royal forces, the Lancastrians 
were quartered in Coventry ; but they quitted the city 
soon afterwards, and the Battle of Northampton ensued, 

Sin which, among the slain on the side of Henry, Sir William 
Lucie, of Charlecote, was found. In 1470, however, the 
Earl of Warwick, having quarrelled with Edward, took the 
Lancastrian side and entered Coventry, where Edward IV. 
was refused admission, and retired to Warwick, where he 
found a friendly reception. In the reign of Richard III., 
when the Earl of Richmond landed at Milford Haven to 
support his claim to the Crown, the Sheriff of Warwick- 

Gunpowder Plot. 

shire levied troops to assist King Richard ; but it is 
probable that they were not engaged in the decisive battle 
of Bosworth Field, since Richard Boughton (the Sheriff) 
was slain two days before that battle, and was probably 
encountered and overpowered by some of Richmond's 
troops on his way to help the King. 

The Gunpowder Plot next brought Warwickshire into 
national history, since many of the conspirators, and some 
of the preparations, were connected with the county. The 
plot to kill the King, Prince Henry, and other nobles and 
magnates on the opening of Parliament was principally 
the work of Robert Catesby, of Lapworth and Bushwood, 
in Warwickshire. It was further proposed to seize Prince 
Charles, or the Princess Elizabeth, then living at Combe 
Abbey, near Coventry, the newly-built house of Lord 
Harrington, as she was chosen to be the Roman Catholic 
representative, and to be married to some Roman Catholic 
peer. Catesby's father had been frequently fined and 
imprisoned for recusancy, and Robert seems to have been 
formerly a Protestant, when he married Catherine, the 
daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh, of Stoneleigh ; but his 
mottter was a Roman Catholic, one of the Throckmortons 
of Coughton Court. He had long brooded over the 
wrongs done to his religion, and, like some others of his 
day, would not accept the toleration of the reign, which 
many of his fellow-believers were disposed to do. He 
associated himself first with three desperadoes, and after- 
wards with Guido Fawkes, to arrange the details of the 
plot, which was discussed and extended chiefly at the old 
manor-house of Norbrook, at Bushwood, at Clopton, and at 
Coughton. The Warwickshire part of the plot was 
arranged to be accomplished by a hunting match at Duns- 
more, near Dunchurch, and on receipt of the news of the 
success of the plot in London, the local conspirators were 
to ride off to Combe Abbey, and to carry off the Princess 
Elizabeth. The house at Norbrook was the meeting-place 

8 History of Warwickshire. 

of the chief conspirators, and they met also at Bushwood 
and at Clopton, which Rokewood had taken as tenant ; 
but Catesby lived at Ashby St. Ledgers after selling his 
Warwickshire estates. There was a muster of many people 
at Dunchurch in the vague hope of some news, and before 
midnight on the 5th of November, 1605, the news was 
brought by Catesby, Rokewood and others, who had ridden 
post-haste from London, that Guido Fawkes had been 
arrested the night before, and that the plot had failed. 
The chief culprits fled, seizing what arms they could find, 
and resolved to make a stand in Staffordshire, near 
Holbeach. On their way they stopped to dry their 
powder, which had been damped in fording a stream, and 
Catesby, Rokewood, Morgan and Grant were blown from 
their seats, and their faces scorched and blackened. The 
Sheriff of Worcester arrived and attacked the house, and 
Percy and Catesby were shot,- Rokewood was wounded 
and taken prisoner, with Winter, Morgan, Grant and others, 
and the Gunpowder Plot was ended, except as to the trials 
and punishments which followed, and the hurried retreat 
of all suspected persons. 

The great Civil War supplied some important and 
exciting incidents to the annals of Warwickshire. The 
county generally was on the Roundhead side, and Lord 
Brooke, of Warwick Castle, was one of the fiercest of the 
enemies of the King. Sir William Dugdale, of Blythe Hall, 
in the county, was one of the royal heralds, and, as garter 
king-at-arms, he attended Charles to Nottingham, and 
made the proclamation when the royal standard was raised 
and the great Civil War began. The first great battle 
between the Royalist and Parliamentary forces was fought 
in October, 1 642, near the small town of Kineton, in the 
south of the county, and on the plain below Edge Hill, 
from which the battle derives its name. The Royalist 
troops had arrived from neighbouring villages, and had 
mustered in large numbers early on the morning of Sunday, 

Battle of Edge Hill. 

23rd October, on the heights of Edge Hill. The line 
extended from its right on Bullet Hill to its left at the 
1 Sun Rising/ and was well protected on flanks and rear, 
with the plain, then open country, a hundred feet below 
the cliff. The King rode along the lines 'clad in steel, 
and with a star and garter on, a black velvet mantle over 
his armour, and a steel cap covered with velvet on his 
head ;' and addressed his officers in his tent with, ' Come 
life or death, your King will bear you company.' Lord 
Lindsay offered up his quaint, brief prayer: 'O Lord, 
Thou knowest how busy I must be to-day! If I forget 
Thee, do not Thou forget me ! March on, boys !' About 
two o'clock the royal forces prepared to descend the steep 
face of the cliff to attack the Parliamentarians on the field 
below. Prince Rupert led the cavalry on the right, Lord 
Wilmot on the left, while the centre was entrusted to 
General Ruthven and Sir Jacob Astley, with the King and 
his pensioners in the rear. The ground was wet and miry, 
but the day fair overhead. About three o'clock the sound 
of two cannon fired by the Roundheads rolled and 
echoed along the lofty cliff, and the battle had begun. 
The King's left cavalry charged towards Battle Farm 
(since so called), where Essex had planted some guns, and 
were repulsed. Prince Rupert, on the right wing, charged 
down the hill towards Kineton with better success, and 
drove back Sir James Ramsay and his troops by his 
impetuous charge, but Rupert, with his characteristic rash- 
ness, rushed on to the plunder of the baggage-waggons at 
Kineton, while the rest of the Royalist troops were losing 
the day. The Parliamentary left wing was routed, but the 
right wing stood well, and the centre held its ground and 
advanced. When Rupert returned it was too late. John 
Hampden had arrived from Stratford, opened fire on 
Rupert's troops, drove him to retire in great confusion, 
and to throw away his beaver and feather that he might 
cease to be a mark. The royal army was in great danger ; 

io History of Warwickshire. 

it was severely pressed on its left and its front. The King 
was within half a musket-shot of the enemy, and the 
ground from which Rupert had driven Ramsay had been 
regained. Both armies had suffered severely, but the 
Parliamentarian troops had held their ground, while the 
Royalists had retired to their more comfortable quarters. 
Although the success was doubtful, the Parliamentarians 
seem on the whole to have had the advantage, for their 
horse on the field were victorious, and their infantry 
superior. The slaughter was very great, and has been 
variously estimated from one thousand to five thousand, 
but Sir William Dugdale, who was present at the battle, 
and who, with ' a skilful surveyor/ visited the field in the 
following February, computes the number to have been less 
than one thousand men. The Prince of Wales (aged twelve) 
and the Duke of York (aged ten), afterwards Charles II. 
and James II., were on the field under the charge of the 
famous Dr. Harvey (the physician to the King), who is 
recorded to have forgotten alike his own danger and his 
royal charges, and to have taken out a book and begun to 
read, till warned by the whizzing of the bullets around him 
that it was time to retire. At Alcester, twenty miles 
away, Richard Baxter was preaching on that eventful 
Sunday from the text, ' The kingdom of heaven suffereth 
violence,' little knowing what was doing at Edge Hill, 
while his audience distinctly heard the solemn booming 
of cannon during the whole of his discourse. 

The site of the battle-field is still well marked and 
readily traceable, although the lands have long been 
enclosed, and farms and orchards now flourish on the soil. 
The ' Sun Rising/ a fine old stone-built house, remains un- 
changed, and from Edge Hill the details of the first 
great fight may be clearly made out. On the hills the 
Burton Dassett Hills, which join Edge Hill on the east 
the old Beacon Tower still remains where the first signal- 
fire was lighted in the cresset to flash the news to London 

Great Civil War. 1 1 

by way of Ivinghoe, forty miles away. In the year follow- 
ing the battle, Kineton received the King again. His 
Queen had held her court at New Place, Stratford-on- 
Avon, where William Shakespeare had lived and died 
twenty-seven years before. She was on her way to meet 
the King, who had come from Oxford, and they met at 
Kineton, where Rupert also came, Prince Charles and 
the Duke of York, who accompanied the King, ' riding forth 
with most cheerful countenances to receive the blessings of 
so deare and renowned a mother/ The meeting was cele- 
brated by a medal struck in honour of the occasion, and 
by some loyal verses too. Ten months after, the Battle 
of Edge Hill had wrought some wondrous changes : the 
King had advanced to London and retired, Essex had 
taken Reading, Waller had been successful in the West, 
but his defeat at Devizes and Rupert's capture of Bristol 
had inspirited the Royalists and thrown a gleam of hope- 
fulness over the darkening future of the royal lives. 

The great Civil War was largely associated with War- 
wickshire and its inhabitants in many other ways and on 
manjr other occasions, in addition to those connected with 
the first great fight. Sir William Dugdale had also to 
summon the garrisons of the castles of Warwick and Ban- 
bury to surrender to the King, in August, 1642, and the 
duties were duly performed in herald's coat-of-arms and 
with trumpets blowing. The garrison of Ban bury sur- 
rendered, but that of Warwick refused, and being a place 
of great strength, and with a large garrison and a more 
gallant commander, the summons was contemned and the 
garrison then proclaimed as ' traitors against the King, 
his crown and dignity.' At Coventry, also, the same anti- 
Royalist spirit was soon shown, and ' rebels ' and ' schis- 
matics ' and ' sectaries ' assembled there, as a walled city 
where safety was more certain than in unprotected towns. 

On his way from Nottingham to Edge Hill, the King 
had stopped three nights at Birmingham as the guest of 

12 History of Warwickshire. 

the loyal Sir Thomas Holte, but the Hall had been attacked 
by the ' men of Birmingham ' with a cannonade and partial 
siege, and the town was afterwards severely punished for its 
disloyalty. Coventry became a ' city of refuge/ and was in 
its turn proclaimed, during a short visit of the King to 
Stoneleigh, some four miles away, when the defenders 
of the city indignantly refused to surrender to him. 
Kenilworth Castle, another strong fortress, was at first held 
by the Royalists, and as the ' rebels ' were rapidly increas- 
ing, the garrison was secretly withdrawn, but was followed 
and attacked by troops from Coventry, and a skirmish 
occurred at Curdworth, near Coleshill, in which the 
Royalists were victorious, and afterwards present at the 
Battle of Edge Hill. 

One of the most memorable incidents of the Civil War 
time, next to the Battle of Edge Hill, is found in the year 
following that contest, when Prince Rupert attacked and 
burned part of the town of Birmingham, which Clarendon 
described, as ' of as great fame for hearty, wilful, affected 
disloyalty to the King as any town in England,' and 
this disloyalty had taken the most practical form by 
the alleged supply of 15,000 swords for the use of the 
Parliamentary troops. As an unwalled town, and without 
a charter or municipal privileges, the town had long been 
a ' city of refuge ' for those who had been driven by perse- 
cutions religious or political from other towns. The 
reward of this civic hospitality had been that a large, 
ingenious and industrious population was increasing, with- 
out any prejudices in favour of sovereigns of the Stuart 
type. Two months after the first shot had been fired, 
Charles came to Birmingham with a large force to visit 
Sir Thomas Holte at Aston Hall; but he found no welcome 
in the streets of the town, and the troops were received 
with hootings and groans, and their excesses made 
the people less loyal than before. On the third day 
the King had left, but the excited townsfolk hated the 

City of Refuge. 13 

surly old baronet who had entertained the King, attacked 
the Hall, and seized the royal plate from the carriage in 
which it was being removed, and sent it for safety to 
Warwick Castle. This was a declaration against the 
sovereign by force of arms a declaration of war. Soon 
bands were formed, drill was practised, arms were provided, 
and the royal troops as they marched were attacked 
wherever they were found. Every King's messenger who 
could be found was seized and ' sent to Coventry/ which, 
as a walled city, was better able to keep prisoners than a 
straggling, unfortified town. While ready to supply pikes 
and swords for the 'rebels/ they refused to supply the 
Royalists. All the country round looked to Birmingham 
for help. Coventry was threatened and was in danger, 
and three hundred men of Birmingham went to aid in its 
defence. The first great struggle with the Royalists was 
now imminent. Early in 1643, Prince Rupert had been 
'looting' near Henley-in-Arden and Stratford-on-Avon, 
and rumours came that he would march through Binning- 
ham to the north. On the Sunday before Easter, the news 
became clearer and the danger greater, and the people 
resolved to defend their town. Arms were distributed, 
positions fixed, barricades built across the road which the 
troops must pass, and all was ready for a serious and brave 
resistance. On Easter Monday morning great excitement 
prevailed, but no news came ; but soon some of the troopers 
were seen to be advancing to the town. Rupert had not 
expected a defence, but relied on his 2,000 horse and foot, 
his ' four drakes ' and his ' two sakers ' (as the light field- 
pieces were called) to secure surrender at discretion. His 
quartermasters advanced and promised that if the people 
behaved peaceably and furnished provender all that was 
past would be forgiven. The reply was a volley of shot. 
Rupert ordered an immediate attack. The field-pieces 
were brought to the front and fixed on the rude barricades. 
The people returned the fire with their guns and shot 

14 History of Warwickshire. 

with deadly effect rarely missing man or horse. Twice 
the Cavaliers staggered and retired, but some of the rear 
had dashed over the hedges around, and were firing the 
houses behind the brave defenders. There was a wild 
retreat, and the Cavaliers poured into the town and 
burned and pillaged all around. The slaughter was general 
men, women and children fell under the furious blows of 
the enraged Cavalier troopers, and among the mortally 
wounded was the Earl of Denbigh. The fierce Rupert and 
his troops left hundreds of killed and wounded, and Rupert's 
' burning love for Birmingham ' became a household word. 
Warwickshire has but few historic events during the 
eighteenth century to record as having occurred in the 
county as distinguished from those of the general history 
of the kingdom. The county was generally agricultural, 
with few places marked by special progress. Warwick, 
the county town, had no great changes, and remained only 
as the market-town, with the occasional excitements of 
Quarter Sessions and Assizes. The ancient and famous 
city of Coventry had but an uneventful history, and was 
principally remarkable for its industrial successes in de- 
veloping the ribbon trade and that of watch-making. 
Birmingham had not started on its career of industrial 
progress till the latter half of the century, and ' gentle 
dulness' was the characteristic of all the district. One 
class of events, by no means creditable, however, had 
happened in a series of riots, in which much harm was 
done. In 1715 the stormy priest, Dr. Sacheverell, had 
aroused the bigotry and passions of the ignorant people 
against the Nonconformists, and some serious riots took 
place in Birmingham, where meeting-houses were burned 
and destroyed. Still later in the century the evil passions 
of the people were aroused for ' Church and King/ in 1791, 
when the town was in the hands of a violent mob for 
several days, and two chapels and five large houses one 
of them Fair Hill, the home of Dr. Priestley from 1780 to 

Birmingham , the ' Hardware Village! 1 5 

1791, with all its books, papers, laboratory, and philoso- 
phical apparatus were burnt or destroyed by a brutal and 
furious mob. 

Local history in the present century has many triumphs 
to record. The rapid rise of Birmingham had begun in 
the latter half of the eighteenth century. The * hardware 
village ' of those days had begun to expand, the 
' freedom ' of the town from the fetters of corporate towns 
had attracted artisans of all trades and classes to a 
place where they could work and prosper undisturbed 
by the vexatious restrictions of the older towns. An 
almost infinite variety of manufactures thus arose, and the 
town, which had long been a ' city of refuge ' for political 
and religious fugitives, became the seat of various manu- 
factures previously unknown in the district. The gun and 
sword trade, and the trades connected with iron and brass, 
had steadily increased ; but the great event of the age was 
when James Watt practically the inventor of the modern 
steam-engine came to Matthew Boulton, at Birmingham, 
and the Soho Works became more famous for the pro- 
duction of steam - engines than for the steel, jewellery 
and nicknacks which made the town 'the toy-shop of 
Europe,' as described by Edmund Burke. From the latter 
half of the last century to the middle of our own, the 
increase in population and manufactures in and near 
Birmingham was enormous and rapid, and even during 
the disastrous early years of this century the demand for 
firearms kept that trade flourishing, although the masses 
of the people suffered terrible distress through the long 
period of heavy taxation and high prices of food and 
necessaries inseparable from an age of war. 

The Reform Bill agitation for the fair and peaceful 
revision of the franchise and for the representation in 
Parliament of large and populous towns instead of the 
'pocket boroughs' and places like 'Old Sarum/ had neces- 
sarily a great interest for the chief town of Warwickshire. 

1 6 History of Warwickshire. 

Birmingham became the most active and earnest of all the 
unrepresented towns in favour of reform, and its famous 
' New Hall Hill meetings ' attracted and represented not 
merely the town itself but the Midland counties generally, 
and secured the most effective pressure and demand. At 
one of the great meetings, in the absence of a legal right to 
a ' member ' of Parliament, a * legislatorial attorney ' was 
elected, and sent to demand admission to the House of 
Commons, and was, of course, refused ; but ultimately, as 
the result of the energetic and continued agitation, which 
was full of exciting incidents and indomitable courage, 
Birmingham was duly included in the Reform Bill to send 
two members to the Parliament of the realm. The political 
prominence of Birmingham, so energetically won, has not 
only been retained, but extended down to our own days, 
and the town has taken an active part in all the great 
political events of modern times, and has shown that 
' Birmingham will be Birmingham ' to the end of the 
chapter, and that Clarendon's phrase, 'of as great fame 
for hearty, wilful, affected disloyalty/ no longer describes a 
town which in 1858 and in 1887 was extremely 'loyal' to 
the throne, yet still earnest and energetic in all great 



Guy of Warwick and the fair Phyllis. Leofric and Godiva. 
Legend of Long Compton. Wroxall Miracle. Whispering 
Knights. Red Horse Record. 

THE Legendary History of Warwickshire is far too widely 
known to be neglected or despised, even if it must have its 
corrections in these later days of unbelief. The story of 
Guy, Earl of Warwick, and his countess, the fair Phyllis ; 
of La4y Godiva and Earl Leofric, of the Legend of Long 
Compton, and of Hugh of Wroxall, have become portions 
of English general literature, as well as of local fame. The 
great fight of Guy with the great Dun Cow on Dunsmore 
Heath has long been a piece of * history ' in Warwickshire, 
as well as in the rare early copies of romances of the 
Middle Ages. The learned and venerable archaeologist, 
Mr. Matthew Holbeche Bloxam, F.S.A., of Rugby, who 
for sixty years had studied the architecture and antiquities 
of his own county, had given special care and research to 
the story of Guy, whose gigantic statue still remains at 
Guy's Cliff, near Warwick, and whose reputed relics are 
still shown at Warwick Castle. Sir Guy was certainly a 
champion of romance, and has a distinctly local fame, and 
Mr. Bloxam showed that the earliest MS. stories are in 
Norman-French and in vernacular English of the fourteenth 


1 8 History of Warwickshire. 

century, but that none of the earlier MSS., and few even 
of the early-printed books, have any reference to the Dun 
Cow, the earliest mention of which is in 1570, when Dr. 
Caius describes the relics of the animal which he saw at 
Guy's Cliff and at Coventry, and of which he gives full 
details ; and it is only in the seventeenth century that the 
story becomes complete, and this in a 'tradegy' (sic) pub- 
lished in 1 66 1, and these references, with the fact that there 
was a ' Dun Cow ' inn at Dunchurch, mentioned in George 
Fox's Journal in 1655, sum up the evidence for the legend. 
Mr. Bloxam also showed that some diluvial remains of the 
mammoth were found in the neighbourhood some forty 
years ago, and it may therefore be reasonably supposed 
that the legend was founded on some similar remains 
discovered before the sixteenth century, which would be 
held as proofs, even if they were not really the origin, of 
the tales of Guy's killing the Dun Cow. As to the ' relics ' 
of Guy at Warwick Castle, Mr. Bloxam was more positive, 
for they do not agree with the illustrations in the early 
MSS. of the romances, or the style of the armour worn at 
the supposed date of the story. ' The body and horse 
armour shows him to have been no ordinary mortal. We 
find a bascinet, or head-piece, of the time of Edward III. to 
have formed his helm ; a Hungarian " pavois " or shield of 
the time of Henry VII. is reputed to be, and does duty 
as, his breast-plate, and a vizored wall-shield of the reign 
of James I. serves as his back-plate. A two-handed sword 
of the era of Henry VIIL, five feet six inches long, is 
pointed out as wielded by him, while the shaft of a tilting- 
lance, the earliest I have met with, served, if you will 
believe it, as his walking-staff. His lady, the fair Phyllis, 
has a pair of pointed slippered stirrups of iron, of the reign 
of Henry VI., ascribed to be her veritable slippers. As to 
Guy's horse-armour, an immense chanfron, or head-piece, 
a poitrail worn in front of the horse's breast, and a crou- 
piere to defend the horse's flanks, are of more than usual 

Leofric and Godiva. 19 

magnitude, and of the reign of Henry VI., whilst his 
breakfast-cup or porridge-pot, with its fork, is a huge iron 
caldron of considerable antiquity, used for seething the 
flesh rations of the garrison.' 

The legend of Lady Godiva, made famous by the 
Laureate's poem (and to some few readers by a brilliant 
poem in ' The Etonian,' by the former Vicar of Rugby, the 
Rev. G. M. Moultrie), sadly needs the facts of history as a 
basis, and Mr. Bloxam shows that Leofric was a powerful 
noble of the time of Edward the Confessor, and that he 
died A.D. 1057 ; that Godiva (or Godgiva) survived him 
many years, and that she appears as one of the great 
landowners in Warwickshire in the Domesday Book 
{A.D. 1086) ; that the population of Coventry at that date 
was about three hundred and fifty ; that the houses were of 
a single story, with a door and no windows, mere wooden 
hovels (as the Bayeux tapestry shows) ; and that the Saxon 
chronicle, sub anno 1057, records the 'death of Leofric the 
Earl on the second of the Kalends of October (September 
30); ha was very wise for God, also for the world, which was 
a blessing to all this nation. He lies at Coventry.' Mr. 
Bloxam also cited William of Malmesbury and Florence of 
Worcester, who praise Leofric and Godiva, but make no 
mention of the legend. Roger de Wendover (tempore John) 
is the first to mention the legend at least a century and 
a half after its alleged occurrence and his authority is not 
great, as he tells many strange stories and legends. After 
all his researches, Mr. Bloxam believed that the * Peeping 
Tom ' incident did not appear till the latter part of the 
reign of Charles II., 'if, indeed, so early ; for in the reign 
of Charles I. (1636) a party of excursionists visited the 
city of Coventry, and one of them wrote an account of 
what they saw, and alluded to the former part of the 
legend, but not to the latter ' (relating to ' Peeping Tom ') ; 
and he then adds that the wooden image long shown at 
the corner of Hertford Street as representing ' Peeping 

2 2 

2O History of Warwickshire. 

Tom,' and on the supposed site of his house, is that of ' an 
armed man, probably an image of St. George, and taken, 
as I think, from one of the churches of the city. It is of 
no greater antiquity than the reign of Henry VII., as is 
evinced from the broad-toed collerets in which the feet are 

Sir William Dugdale, in his ' History of Warwickshire ' 
(1656), narrates the story from Ingulphus and John of 
Tynemouth, both very imaginative and credulous chro- 
niclers, and from Matthew of Westminster, who is entitled 
to rather more credit, as to the ride through the streets of 
the city, but without any confirmation or contradiction, 
and leaving the responsibility on the chroniclers themselves. 
He adds, however, a very significant paragraph, that * in 
memory whereof the picture of him (Leofric) and his said 
Lady were set up in a south window of Trinity Church in 
this City, about K. R(ichard) II. time, and his right hand 
holding a Charter with these words written thereon : 

' " I Luriche for the love of thee 
Doe make Coventre Tol-free." ' 

There seems little reason to doubt that the legend was 
' evolved ' from the inscription, and that it grew to its 
modern form long after the original date. The earl and 
his countess are clearly shown, by indisputable records, to 
have been pious and generous benefactors to the church. 
John Rous, of Warwick, the local chronicler, records that 
Leofric founded a ' goodly monastery, which was the chief 
occasion of all the succeeding wealth and honour that 
accrued to Coventry, and that the earl and countess were 
the most eminent benefactors that it ever had.' Dugdale 
adds that Godiva gave her whole treasure thereto, and that 
she also endowed the monastery of Stow, near Lincoln; 
so that it may reasonably be assumed that Leofric, 
having such relations with his wife, was not likely to 
have imposed upon her so severe and purposeless a shame, 

Legend of Long Compton. 2 1 

even in those rude days, to induce him to remove any 
' tolls ' from a city which they together had so lavishly 
endowed. Nor is it probable that the record, ' for love of 
thee,' could have been deliberately placed as ' a memory ' 
of so very shameless and unmanly a condition for making 
* fair Coventry tol-free.' 

The remaining legends of Warwickshire are less im- 
portant and less generally known. That of Long Comp- 
ton is one of the earliest, and records that St. Augustine 
(A.D. 60 1 ) preaching in the church, the priest told him that 
the lord of the town refused to pay his tithes, that the 
saint immediately excommunicated him, and that he 
further said that no excommunicated person should be 
present at Mass ; whereupon a dead man, buried at the 
entrance to the church, rose from his grave and ' went 
without the compass of the churchyard, and stood there 
during the time of Mass.' The saint questioned him, and 
also the priest who had excommunicated him one hundred 
and fifty years before for refusing to pay tithes, whereon 
the living offender repented of his sin, shaved himself, and 
became a follower of the saint during the rest of his life. 
This is on the authority of John of Tynemouth, and is a 
fair example of his legends. The legend of Polesworth, 
near Tamworth, is that St. Edith struck Sir Robert 
Marmion, of Tamworth Castle, with her cross, to compel 
him to restore the convent of nuns which had been given 
to him by William L, and he forthwith confessed and 
repented, and restored the nuns, to avoid the fate which St. 
Edith had promised him in this world and the next ; and 
the nunnery the first 'religious house' founded in 
Warwickshire was fully restored. The priory of Bene- 
dictine nuns at Wroxall, near Warwick, had a remarkable 
legend, that Hugh de Hatton, a Crusader, was taken 
prisoner in the Holy Land and kept there several years. 
At last he remembered that the patron saint of Wroxall 
was St. Leonard, so he was earnestly entreated to deliver 

22 History of Warwickshire. 

the captive, whereupon the saint appeared to him in his 
sleep, bidding him arise and go home and found an abbey 
for the nuns of St. Benedict. He had no sooner made his 
vow than he was miraculously removed from his prison to 
the very site on which the nunnery was afterwards built 
in Wroxall Wood. His lady would not believe his story 
till he showed her the broken part of a ring, which being 
placed with the part she had kept, the two became 
miraculously united. Among other legends which have 
a sounder basis than those so popular in the ' ages of faith,' 
one must be named, although the site is not strictly in 
Warwickshire, but on the high ground near Long 
Compton, near the road from Stratford-on-Avon to 
Oxford. In the old coaching days the traveller's attention 
was called to some hoary broken stones, which were called 
traditionally ' The Whispering Knights.' They are found 
in a circle of about thirty-five yards' diameter, and although 
originally sixty in number, have been reduced to twenty- 
two by time and destructiveness. Some of them are still 
about seven feet high. The largest is known as the king, 
and the tradition is that some wondrous power turned 
a king and his knights to stone. They have been known 
for centuries as the Rollrich Stones, and Camden thought 
they were probably erected by Rollo as a memorial of 
some battle ; but their form and size, and arrangement and 
general resemblance to the great circles of Stonehenge and 
Avebury, probably mark a much earlier date the Celtic 
monuments of two thousand years ago. Another remark- 
able relic, not far away, in the Vale of Kineton, is the 
famous ' Red Horse/ a great figure cut into the red soil,, 
traditionally reported to be the work of Neville, Earl of 
Warwick, as a memorial of the battle of Towton, where he 
is said to have killed his horse so as to share the risks with 
his soldiers ; but some of these details will be best discussed 



Ancient Roads, Rivers and Towns. Warwick. Coventry. 
Stratford-on-Avon. Rugby. 

WARWICKSHIRE, from its place as an inland county, with 
streams flowing in opposite directions, has necessarily a high 
level above the sea. Its surface is comparatively flat, but 
broken up by ranges of hills of considerable height, and 
some of the high lands of the north of the county have 
their highest ordinary levels six hundred feet above the 
mean sea-level at Liverpool. The outline of the county 
is irregular, and its greatest cross-line lengths are about 
50 miles from north to south and 35 miles from east 
to west, including about 897 square statute miles and 
576,271 acres, and a population of 737,339 persons at the 
last census, in 1881. The divisions of the county are the 
ancient ' Hundreds' of Barlichway, Hemlingford, Kineton 
and Knightlow, with a separate 'county' around the city 
of Coventry. The principal characteristic of the county 
generally is the large number of woods, parks, etc., and as 
most of the hedgerows have substantial trees, and the 
lanes in the country districts have these high hedges, the 
epithet 'woody Warwickshire' is literally correct. The 
rivers are only few and small, but often picturesque, as well 
as famous, and the Avon has long had a world-wide fame. 

24 History of Warwickshire. 

The Avon divides the county practically into North and 
South : Arden, (or Woodland) and Feldon. The classic 
river, well described as the 'soft- flowing' Avon, has its 
principal source in a spring at Naseby, in Northampton- 
shire, not far from the memorable battle-field of the Great 
Civil War. It enters Warwickshire on the north-east, 
across the Watling Street, near Rugby, and flows south- 
west past Stoneleigh and Warwick to Stratford-on-Avon, 
leaving the county near Bidford, and runs on by Evesham 
and Pershore to Tewkesbury, where it enters the Severn. 
The other principal stream of the county is the Tame, 
which rises near the Lickey Hills in Worcestershire as the 
Rea, in Staffordshire as the river Tame, and is joined 
by streams called the Cole and the Blythe, which meet 
near Whitacre, and also fall into the Tame, which passes 
to Tamworth and thence on to the Trent and the Humber 
and the German Ocean or North Sea. 

The great roads are of very ancient date mostly British 
roads through the forests improved and re-made during 
the Roman occupation. The Watling Street, which forms 
the north-east boundary of the county, runs from near 
Rugby to Tamworth and thence on to Lichfield, where at 
Etocetum (now Wall) it crosses the Rykenield, or Icknield 
Street, which enters the county near Bidford, passes 
through Alcester and through Sutton Park, near Birming- 
ham, where it still retains its old name Icknield Street in 
Birmingham, and in the Park of Sutton Coldfield, where 
several miles of the old road still remain unbroken and 
unchanged since the Roman days. The Foss-Way, another 
ancient road, enters the county at Stretton-on-Foss in the 
south-west, and runs on in a nearly straight line through 
Stretton-on-Dunsmore to the High-Cross on the Watling 
Street. The lines of all these roads are generally clearly 
marked, with very few deviations from their original courses, 
and many names still remain which show traces of British 
as well as of Roman occupation. Alcester (Alaunaj was 

Ancient Roads, Rivers and Towns. 25 

iertainly a Roman station, and other relics of the Romans 
have been found from time to time, although no great and 
important * stations ' have been traced except at Etocetum, 
Bennones (High-Cross), and Manduessedum (Mancetter), 
and Atherstone on the line of Watling Street 

The highest levels of the county are near Nuneaton and 
Atherstone on the north-east, and the Edge Hill range on 
the south, where Oxfordshire descends suddenly into 
Warwickshire, and from each of these sites very extensive 
and picturesque panoramic views of the northern and the 
southern divisions of the county are obtained. The valleys 
of the various streams and rivers are singularly beautiful, 
and the very numerous parks and woods are especially 
attractive. The county is essentially agricultural, although 
it includes, in the north especially, several important manu- 
facturing towns. Among these Birmingham stands first 
for the variety and extent of its manufactures, and Nun- 
eaton and Atherstone are important seats of various trades ; 
and at Nuneaton, Bedworth, Griff and Tamworth very 
extensive collieries are found. Coventry and Nuneaton 
have important textile manufactures, and Coventry has 
long been a famous place not only for ribbons, watches, etc., 
but is now one of the largest sources of supply of sewing- 
machines, bicycles and tricycles. 

The two cities, Warwick and Coventry, require a passing 
notice, leaving details for a later page. Warwick, as the 
county town, has many attractions. Two of its ancient 
gates remain, with a chapel over each, although few 
remains of the old walls have survived. St. Mary's Church, 
with its rich Beauchamp Chapel and its famous tombs, has 
long been a place of pilgrimage. The quaint Leicester 
Hospital, founded by the favourite of Elizabeth, is scarcely 
less interesting than the St. Cross Hospital at Winchester. 
The great castle on the cliff above the Avon, and the 
famous park along the riverside, are historically interesting 
and marvellously picturesque. Various old houses of the 

26 History of Warwickshire. 

sixteenth and seventeenth century give the place an oi r - 
world look. 

Coventry, city and county, would require a volume to ) 
give it full justice. Its great St. Michael's Church, now ( 
in process of restoration, is the largest parish church in I 
England, except that of Boston. St. Mary's Hall close \ 
by is a superb relic of fifteenth-century architecture, and 
contains a rich and varied collection of charters, deeds, 
autographs, and sketches illustrating the history of the 
city, and the visits of the many English monarchs who 
have been its guests during four hundred years. The 
remains of the old Cathedral, Trinity Church, and Grey 
Friars, and numberless old half-timbered houses, combine 
to form a series of attractions to historians and anti- 
quaries which are comparatively little known to the 
thousands who rush in a railway train past the famous 
' three tall spires ' which distinguish the venerable ' city of 
the spires.' 

Next in interest, perhaps, Tamworth, the home of the 
Marmions, claims a few words. The solid castle on a hill 
above the Tame has many points of interest, from the 
Saxon herring-bone masonry to the lordly baronial hall 
and imposing tower. The church, too, is large and 
interesting, and worth more attention than it receives. 
Coleshill, on a lofty hill, with a fine spire, is a landmark 
for many miles, and its church contains a splendid series of 
monumental tombs of the Digby family. Alcester is a 
quaint old town with traces of Roman days, and a pleasant 
stream the Alne from which it takes its name. Henley- 
in-Arden is a remarkably fine example of an old English 
small town, with a fine market cross, and a very fine 
Norman chapel at Beaudesert close by. A near neigh- 
bour, Wootton Wawen, has a very ancient church, with 
Saxon work in its tower and chained books as prisoners in 
the church. Stratford-on-Avon needs no special mention, 
for ' the birthplace, the home, and the grave of the bard ' is 

Warwick, Coventry, Stratford-on-Avon, Rugby. 27 

known the wide world over, as thousands (15,000) of 
visitors prove every year. The birthplace of Shakespeare, 
the Grammar School where he learned 'his small Latin 
and less Greek,' the ( great garden ' of the house where 
he passed his later years, the old Gild Chapel overshadow- 
ing his garden, the church where his body was buried, are 
attractions enough and to spare. Around the pleasant 
little town are the Avon, and many places familiar to him 
in boyhood and old age, and some places named in his 
plays. Stratford is a centre of attraction from its pleasant 
site and quaint old houses, as well as from its direct 
associations with the life and death of the ' poet of all 

One other town remains to be mentioned as among the 
famous places in the county. Rugby has few relics of the 
past, but its original name, Rochebury, or Rokebury, goes 
back to Saxon and Danish days. It was not of much im- 
portance at the time of the Conquest, but belonged to 
Turchill of Warwick. One of the castles which Stephen 
was always ready to allow during his troublous reign was 
built near the church, and some traces of its existence have 
been found. It seems to have been destroyed in the reign 
of Henry II. The town is mostly modern ; it stands on a 
low hill, but the country around is so flat that Dr. Arnold 
used to say there ' was nothing between his windows and 
the Ural Mountains ' in Eastern Russia. The great attrac- 
tion of Rugby is its famous school, which Dr. Arnold 
raised to such eminence that it had no superior and few 
equals. His life and influence on this school and the 
town were beyond praise, and his pupils, many of whom 
have taken high places in schools and churches and public 
work, ever honour and venerate his name. The founder of 
the school, Laurence Sherrif (1569), very wisely gave his 
endowment in lands, which have so increased in value as 
to produce five hundred times the income of only one 
hundred years ago. 


History of Warwickshire. 

This summary includes the principal towns of the county 
of special interest, but others of minor importance will be 
at least referred to, if not fully described, in later chapters, 
whose classifications will include many places of small area 
and of reduced status, but which still have some connection 
with the historical or biographical history of Warwickshire. 



The Midland Watershed. Avon, Tame and Smaller Rivers. New 
'Red Sandstone, Marls, etc. Forest of Arden. Physiography. 
Coal Formations. Keuper Red Marls. Liassic Area. Rhcetic 
Series. Glacial or Post- Tertiary Deposits. 

THE geological and physiographical history and condition 
of a county cannot be fully or clearly described without 
sections, tabular statements, and full-coloured maps ; nor 
is it the duty of a ' Popular County History ' to give a mass 
of facts and figures which would be as uninteresting to 
readers generally as they would be imperfect and insuf- 
ficient for more advanced students. The geology and 
physiography of the Midland district have, however, very 
recently been fully described by Professor Dr. Lapworth, 
of Mason College, Birmingham, for the members of the 
British Association. The Rev. P. B. Brodie, M.A., has 
also written many valuable papers from his local as well as 
general knowledge, and Mr. W. J. Harrison has published 
some brief handbooks with the results of his researches. 
A careful abridgment of some of these papers will give 
the reader the latest records and theories, which often differ 
materially from the speculations of even fifty years ago. 

Warwickshire is practically the great watershed of 
southern Britain, for Birmingham is practically the topo- 


30 History of Warwickshire. 

graphical centre of England, and is within the basin of the 
Humber, and is drained by the brooklets which unite to 
form the Tame, the first of the southern tributaries of the 
Trent. 'The ground forming the Birmingham plateau 
rises and falls in an endless succession of heights and 
hollows, here sinking down into broad, tree-sheltered, 
stream-cut valleys, there rising into long, low mounds and 
hills. The subsoil throughout is mainly gravel or sandy 
clay, and the underground drainage is, as a rule, excellent. 
The north-western half of the plateau still retains its 
original forest character, and the primaeval aspect of the 
district is recalled by the wild area of Sutton Park a 
picturesque admixture of long, dry, pebbly mounds, 
covered with thick woods of oak, ash and holly, divided 
from each other by open glades of gorse patches, with 
long, flat, treeless expanses, shrouded in dark heather, and 
picked out here and there with deep, clear-water pools. 
The central half of the plateau is now covered with the 
great town of Birmingham and its immediate dependencies. 
The town stands upon a series of broad rounded knolls, 
divided from each other by intervening open valleys. The 
more elevated points are marked by the Church of St. 
Philip, Newhall Hill, Soho Hill, and the Monument ; while 
the great maze of streets, manufactories and commercial 
buildings fills up all the space between. Strictly speaking, 
the town proper lies in the angle included between the 
river Tame and its little tributary the Rea. The Tame 
runs in a broad valley round the north-eastern side of the 
town to the low-lying district of Saltley, and thus takes its 
course north-eastward across the Midland plain towards 
the Trent at Burton. The little river Rea, which is the 
Birmingham river par excellence, runs from the Lickey Hills 
through the south-eastern corner of the town, across the 
low-lying district of Digbeth, and joins the Tame at Saltley. 
The south-western portion of the Birmingham plateau is 
occupied by the fashionable district of Edgbaston and the 

Physiography, Forest of A r den. 

. , 1 i 

neighbouring suburbs of Harborne and Moseley. While 
the original upland character of the plateau is still distinctly 
apparent, the dwellers in this southern area have, in all 
other respects, utterly changed its former aspect. The 
land has been reclaimed and enclosed. In place of the 
wild oak and ash we have masses of the Elizabethan elm, 
the fir and the beech ; and in place of the wild heather, 
cultivated lawns and grassy fields. Every advantage has 
been taken of the natural resources of site and soil, and the 
result is that Edgbaston and its surroundings form one 
broad expanse of mansions, woods and fields, well worthy 
of the town and neighbourhood. . . . To the east of the 
Birmingham plateau lies the broad plain of Tamworth and 
Nuneaton, watered by the sluggish stream of the Tame 
[and Anker]. The plain is continued far to the southward, 
through the richly wooded district of Warwick, Alcester 
and the old Forest of Arden, and thence down to the 
valley of Shakespeare's Avon, to the terrace of the Edge 
Hills and the northern slopes of the Cotswolds ' (Lapworth, 
pp. 213-216). 

' The physiography of the surface is curiously dependent 
on the geological structure beneath, and every part of the 
surface is a reflex f the sections beneath. The chief 
characteristic of the district is the great Mesozoic formation 
of the Triassic or New Red Sandstone, but its width is 
greatly reduced compared with its measure in other places. 
These red rocks must formerly have extended over the 
whole area, but they now form sheets of red sandstones 
and marls through which the older Palaeozoic rocks 
protrude, in numerous bands and patches. Although 
nowhere very steeply inclined, these red beds of the 
Triassic have been bent into several long, low arches or 
broad domes, whose longer axes range approximately 
north and south. The summits of many of these arches 
have been denuded, and the underlying older rocks have 
again been bared to day. Four of these arches are 

Plistory of Warwickshire. 

especially conspicuous, those of the Wrekin, Malvern, 
Dudley and Nuneaton. In each of these the underlying 
coal measures are laid bare, forming the four coal-fields of 
Coalbrookdale, Forest of Wyre, and Eastern Warwick, all 
of which show, round their outer margins, a narrow band 
of the intermediate formation of the Permian. In each of 
these anticlinals, too, the denudation of the core of the 
arch has been sufficient to wear away the Carboniferous 
from its centre, and to expose to view yet older formations 
the Old Red Sandstone in the Forest of Wyre, the 
Silurian in South Staffordshire, the Malverns, and Coal- 
brookdale, and even the Upper Cambrian and its under- 
lying igneous rocks in the Wrekin, the Lickey, and near 
Nuneaton. [It is only fair to add that this discovery at 
Nuneaton was made, some four years ago, by the large 
knowledge and microscopic observations of Dr. Lapworth 
himself.] With the exception of the Silurian of Abberley 
and Dudley, and the recently discovered Cambrian of 
Nuneaton, however, these pre-carboniferous rocks are 
comparatively inconspicuous, rising up merely in narrow 
bands in the cores of long, wedge-shaped hills/ 

'From the economical, as well as from the structural, 
point of view, by far the most important of these 
geological arches is that of South Staffordshire [close to 
Birmingham on the north and east], which is the south- 
ward continuation of the Pennine Chain, and part of the 
true backbone of southern Britain. The central axis of 
this arch runs through the Dudley hills [also close to 
Birmingham on the east], and dies away in the complex of 
" faults " to the south of the Lickeys [a range of lofty and 
picturesque hills on the south-west of Birmingham]. On 
the natural consequences of the rise of this arch, all the 
physical, scenic, and economic peculiarities of the central 
parts of the district are essentially dependent. The hills 
and plains around Birmingham are all more or less related 
to this grand anticlinal the hills marking the uplifted 

New Red Sandstone and Marls. 33 

edges of the harder rocks the limestones, sandstones, and 
pebble beds; and the plains, the position of the gently- 
inclined soft shales and marls. It has brought within 
workable distance of the surface the coals and iron- 
stones of South Staffordshire, and the valuable limestones of 
the Dudley hills ; and it has had its final effect in bring- 
ing together the overflowing population of the town and 

4 In the great midland plain to the east of Birmingham 
[to the eastern boundary of Warwickshire] the strata are 
spread out in broad sheets. The plain is underlain in 
great part by the comparatively homogeneous flat-lying 
Keuper marls, with their intercalated bands of harder 
sandstones. Its scenery is consequently less varied than 
that of the Severn Valley, but it is rich in that sweet 
sylvan beauty which is almost peculiar to the English 
landscape, and it forms one broad expanse of gently rolling 
farmland and woodland, whose green-crested waves sweep 
onward to the east and south, mile beyond mile, till they 
break against the long shore-like scarp of the harder 
Jurassics ' (Lap worth, pp. 218, 219). 

Another geologist a specialist as to Warwickshire 
the Rev. P. B. Brodie, F.G.S., further describes the general 
geological characteristics of the county in these words : 

' The physical features of Warwickshire are in great 
part those due to its geological structure. Indeed, where 
not obscured by drift deposits, they afford considerable 
assistance in mapping the out-crop of the various forma- 
tions. In the northern part of the county the Lower 
Carboniferous district is distinctly marked out, forming a 
bold ridge which stretches in a north-westerly direction to 
near Baddesley. In the middle of this district, to the 
south of Atherstone, the county attains an elevation of 
over 500 feet above the sea. The country occupied by the 
broad- spread Permian rocks, directly to the south of the 
Carboniferous area, is characterized by an undulating 


34 History of Warwickshire. 

surface, frequently presenting bold hills, and rising to the 
culminating point at Corley Moor, with an elevation of 
625 feet above the level of the sea. From this point 
streams descend, which, flowing north and south, ultimately 
find their way, in the one case into the German Ocean, and 
in the other to the Bristol Channel. The Triassic district 
in these parts is occupied by the harder beds, very similar 
to the Permian area ; but owing to the greater develop- 
ment of the Keuper marls, the general appearance is that 
of an undulating plain. The out-crop of the beds of the 
Lias district, where not obscured by drift, can be very 
clearly traced, the layers of hard light-coloured limestone 
found at the base of this formation standing out from the 
soft Keuper marls as a well-defined escarpment. It is 
only in portions of its range in this county, however, that 
it can be so traced, as throughout the greater part of the 
northern division it is thinly covered with drift. The 
Inferior Oolite deposit exists as a small patch in the south- 
eastern corner of the county, on the Burton-Dasset hills, 
near Kineton, where it attains a thickness of about 80 
feet, and rests directly on the upper Lias Clay ' (White's 
'Warwickshire,' pp. 141, 142). 

The local rock formation cannot be fully or clearly 
described without a coloured map, but the following 
summary, so far as Warwickshire is concerned, is given 
from Professor Dr. Lapworth's recent (1886) elaborate 
paper in the ' Hand-book of Birmingham,' compiled for the 
members of the British Association. It includes the 
entire stratigraphical succession between the Cambrian and 
the Jurassic middle period, except at the Ordovician and 
the Old Red Sandstone, which are locally wanting. Under 
the classification of Mesozoic or Secondary Rocks, the 
Liassic includes (a) Middle Lias (marlstone) at Edge Hill 
and Fenny Compton ; (b] Lower Lias Clays at Harbury and 
Rugby. The Rhcetic shows Marls and White Lias at 
Harbury, Knowle, and Wootton-Wawen. The Triassic 

Coal Formations. 35 

(I. Upper Trias and Keuper) shows Lower Keuper or Water- 
stones at Birmingham and Warwick, and the Lower Trias (or 
Bunter) : (a) Upper Mottled Sandstone at Edgbaston, and 
(b) Pebble Beds and Conglomerate at Sutton Park. Under 
the Palaeozoic or Primary Rocks, the Carboniferous include 
(a) Upper Coal Measures, with Spinorbis Limestone, at 
Arley ; and under Cambrian, the Tremadoc beds at 
Nuneaton. Many other well-known and important forma- 
tions in the immediate neighbourhood are described, but 
they are found in Staffordshire and Worcestershire, and are 
therefore omitted from this Warwickshire record. 

The only traces of the lowest and oldest rocks are those 
of the Cambrian series, and are found near Nuneaton, in 
the eastern corner of the county, and in a strip about eight 
miles long and one mile wide. They consist of volcanic 
ashes, quartzites, and thin-bedded shales pierced by dioritic 
dykes, and were till recently mapped as Millstone Grit and 
Carboniferous Shale. Whether they belong to the Middle or 
the Lower Cambrian, or to the earlier Archaean, is still an 
open question, but they seem to be correlated to the 
Wrekin and the great Igneous Rocks in Charnwood Forest, 

Warwickshire is less known as a coal-county than many 
of the prolific sources of supply in South Staffordshire, 
which is the richest mineral area in Britain as to variety, as 
well as extent. ' Thick coal seams, rich bands of ironstone 
and great thicknesses of Silurian limestone, all occur within 
a short distance of each other, and all within easy reach of 
the miner. The natural result has been that the South 
Staffordshire coal-field and its immediate neighbourhood 
has been the great coal and iron mart of Central Britain, 
and the abundance and cheapness of the material it has 
afforded have rendered Birmingham and "The Black 
Country " the hardware workshop of the world ' (Lapworth 
pp. 233, 234). The East Warwickshire coal-field is, how- 
ever, of great extent and importance. These coal-bearing 


36 History of Warwickshire. 

rocks form a strip of about fifteen miles long, from Tarn- 
worth, on the north, to Bedworth, near Coventry, on 
the south. The coal-bearing strata rest unconformably 
upon the Cambrian below, and pass up conformably into 
the Permian above. In the north of the coal-field five 
workable seams occur, separated by many feet of barren 
measures. Dr. Lapworth thinks that these, and the thick 
coal-beds of South Staffordshire, allowing for possible 
erosion prior to the deposition of the Triassic, may extend 
in a continuous sheet under the red rocks of Northern 
Warwickshire, and may have been part of one area of 

The Permian rocks of Warwickshire show no true lime- 
stone, and are formed of red sandstones and marls, and 
beds of angular breccia. The lowest strata are seen to the 
west of the East Warwickshire coal-field. Between Tam- 
worth and Kenilworth the Permian strata floor a wide tract of 
.country, and lie almost horizontal. The Triassic rocks form 
a large part of the Midland counties, and are composed of 
red sandstone and marls. The town of Birmingham stands 
upon, and is surrounded by, rocks of this character, which 
have two divisions, the Upper (or Keuper), chiefly a stiff 
marl or clay ; and the Lower (or Bunter) mainly sandy, the 
out-crop of the Bunter being usually barren, with much 
heath and waste land, as in Sherwood Forest, while the 
Keuper marls afford a rich soil, well fitted for the plough. 
The Bunter Conglomerate, or pebble-bed, runs south-west 
to north-east of the surface of the Birmingham area, near 
Sutton Park and Lichfield, and in a broad band near the 
western suburbs of Birmingham by Winson Green and 
Perry Barr to Sutton Park, where the out-crop is three and 
a half miles wide, and with a vertical section of thirty feet. 
Each section shows a mass of well-rounded hard pebbles, 
which have been so pressed together by the earth-move- 
ment since their deposition that many are cracked, and all 
bear white indentations. The Bunter Conglomerate con- 

Keuper Red Marls. 37 

tains no contemporaneous fossils, but many species of 
shells have been found in the hard rounded lumps of rock 
of which it is composed. The Lower Keuper Sandstone 
is found specially near Birmingham, and forms the ridge 
on which the Town Hall, St. Philip's Church, etc. (475 
feet above sea-level), stand, with a probable depth of 
200 feet, forming excellent solid and deep foundations. 
Near Warwick bones and teeth of four species of the 
Labyrinthodon have been found, with footprints of the 
feet also. The Keuper red marls form an undulating 
fertile plain, ten or twelve miles long, near the valley of 
the Tame, and Castle Bromwich, Coleshill, and Whitacre, 
and borings show its depth to vary from 400 to 700 feet. 
The Upper Keuper Sandstone is a thin band, not more than 
thirty feet in thickness, a small quarry of which exists at 
Rowington, near Warwick, and lines of strata crop out in 
various parts of South Warwickshire. Mr. W. Jerome 
Harrison, from whose recent and elaborate researches this 
summary is compiled, believes that all these phenomena 
show that Central England in the Carboniferous epoch 
alternated as to condition between a low plain and a 
shallow sea. In the Permian period land conditions pre- 
vailed except in the North and North Midland counties, 
where a brackish sea, somewhat like the Baltic, occupied a 
shallow depression. In the Triassic times this central sea 
appears to have been cut off from the other ocean, and to 
have formed a huge inland lake, comparable to the Caspian 
or the Dead Sea of our own day. The southern boundary 
of this inland sea was formed by a ridge of old rocks 
which extended from Charnwood by Hartshill and the 
Lickey, and the Wrekin and Malvern Hills. In the basin 
north of this axial ridge all the subdivisions of the Bunter 
and the Keuper were in turn deposited, and the cliffs and 
reefs of the Palaeozoic rocks, of which this coast-line was 
composed, yielded large contributions in the pebble-beds, 
sands, and marls which constitute the Trias. According to 

38 History of Warwickshire. 

a theory originally advanced by Professor Hull, and sup- 
ported by Professor Bonney, the pebbles of the Bunter 
were mostly derived from the Palaeozoic rocks of the 
north-west and north-east, some being probably sup- 
plied by the ancient strata of North-west Scotland. ' The 
waters of the Triassic sea were so overcharged with salts 
of iron that every grain of sand was encrusted before its 
deposition with a pellicle of peroxide of iron, and of 
chloride of sodium (common salt), and sulphate of sodium 
(gypsum). There was also an excess, so that much was 
deposited on the sea-floor, producing beds of rock-salt and 
gypsum of considerable thickness. The presence of these 
mineral substances in the water was prejudicial to life, so 
that as in the Dead Sea and Lake Utah to-day few 
living creatures could inhabit the Triassic sea, and fossils 
are of extreme rarity in the stratum of this age.' The 
Triassic strata have a great economic value, since being so 
porous they absorb a large proportion of the rain which 
falls upon them, and thus form an underground reservoir 
which, when tapped by wells or bore-holes, is capable of 
supplying an almost inexhaustible quantity of good, 
although somewhat hard, water. In this way Birmingham 
receives three-fourths of its water from three deep wells 
two on the north-east of the town at Aston and Bury 
respectively, and one on the south-west near Selly Oak. 
'These wells extend to the depth of 400 feet, passing 
through the Upper Mottled Sandstone, and piercing the 
Pebble-beds, and the average supply of water from each is 
3,000,000 gallons per day, of a hardness varying from 
nine to fifteen degrees ' (Harrison, pp. 242-244). 

' The Liassic area chiefly consists of the middle and lower 
divisions. The highest appears in the south and south-east, 
and the middle in spurs of hills on the north-west, while 
the lower lies at a lower level in the same general direction, 
to the southern edge of the Trias. The Upper Lias is 
chiefly shown by a thin bed of clay with some characteristic 

Lias sic Area. 39 

fossils, on the Fenny Compton hills, with evidence that it 
formerly capped the range of the adjacent Edge Hills, in 
its natural position above the Marlstone or Middle Lias, of 
which the Edge Hills are chiefly composed. The Marl- 
stone or Middle Lias is largely quarried on the Avon and 
Burton-Dassett Hills, and forms a good building-stone of 
varying hardness, of a green or yellow-brown colour, and 
sometimes ferruginous. In Warwickshire the Marlstone 
affords few fossils, and those chiefly brachiopodous shells 
of the genus Terebratula. The inferior clays and marls 
are seen only near Fenny Compton, and these are full of 
fossils, especially in the zone of Ammonites, Jamiesonii 
and Ibex, nearly one hundred feet thick, and one hard, 
thick bed, with numerous corals. The Lower Lias is found 
extensively, north-east, east, south-east, south, and south- 
west of Warwick. A very fine section was exposed by the 
railway near Harbury Station, the strata showing beds of 
blue clay or shale, interstratified with beds of blue rubbles 
and argillaceous limestone, much quarried for hydraulic 
lime. Fine lime-beds are found at Stockton and Harbury, 
at Wilmcot, near Stratford, and near Henley-in-Arden, and 
Knowle. The thickness of this Lower Lias is above 600 
feet ; fossils are not very numerous, but bones and teeth of 
Plesiosaurus and - Ichthyosaurus are found, but only few 
fish at Harbury and near Rugby. Excepting the remains 
of insects and fragments of plants, the fossils of the Lower 
Limestones are entirely marine, Ammonites, Planorbis and 
A. Johnstoni, being abundant and characteristic. Crustacea 
and small fishes occasionally occur. The larger Enalio- 
saurians are well represented by some fine specimens of 
the Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus, the Plesiosaurus 
Megacephalus in the Museum at Warwick being nearly 
entire, and measuring 14 feet 4 inches in length. The 
most remarkable fossils are the insects, of which more than 
twenty-four families and genera were determined more 
than twenty years ago, and many important discoveries 

40 History of Warwickshire. 

have been since made and described. Many of the 
Neuroptera were of gigantic proportions, but most of the 
insects of small size, and indicating a temperate climate. 

' The Rhcetic series consists of certain hard, fine-grained 
limestones, which, from their ordinary white colour, have 
been termed White Lias. They cover a considerable area 
south and south-east of Warwick, and form a purely local 
deposit, limited mostly to Warwickshire and Somerset- 
shire. As close-grained and hard limestones they make 
good building material and good lime, of a colour mDstly 
white, but with a yellow tinge and occasionally pink and 
gray. Some geologists class them as Rhcetic, some as 
intermediate between Lias and Rhcetic, and some as Red 
Lias. The undisputed Rhcetic rocks, which lie between 
the Lias and the Triassic marls, are rarely exposed in 
Warwickshire, but small sections are visible in the railwa/- 
cutting near Harbury, also near Wooton-Wawen and 
Knowle, and some characteristic Rhcetic fossils were 
found at Summer Hill, between Stratford-on-Avon and 
Alcester, on cutting the railway a few years ago ' (Brodie, 
pp. 245-247). 

The Glacial and Post-Tertiary deposits have recently 
been very carefully surveyed, studied and described, by 
the Rev. H. W. Crosskey, LL.D., F.G.S., and offer many 
facts not readily to be explained. He describes the 
' finds ' under these headings : (I.) Lower Boulder Clays ; 
(II.) Middle Glacial Clays, Sands and Gravels; (III.) 
Upper Boulder Clays ; (IV.) Post-Glacial Clays, Sands and 
Gravels. The most complete section is at Harborne, near 
Birmingham. Erratic boulders of slate, felsite, quartzite, 
intermixed with blocks and stones of local origin, are 
found in a Lower Boulder Clay, 480 feet above sea-level. 
Many of these erratics are angular, and some, especially 
the slates, are finely striated. The whole deposit is un- 
stratified and compact, and the boulders are roughly pressed 
together in every variety of position, without any orderly 

Glacial or Post- Tertiary Deposits. 41 

arrangement. The Middle Sands and Gravels follow the 
boulder clay, and are irregularly stratified, and show false 
bedding, and fragments of coal occur among the pebbles. 
The Upper Boulder Clay is a compact mass of clay with 
erratics scattered through it; but they are neither so 
numerous nor so confusedly pressed together as in the 
lower bed. Granite has been found, although rarely asso- 
ciated with the travelled felsites and quartzites, together 
with a few flints, and local stones and blocks are also mixed 
up with the clay. The series is capped by a mixture of 
clay, sand and gravel in varying proportions, which fills 
many hollows that must have been washed out of the 
upper clay, and must be regarded as Post-Glacial. Glacial 
striae have been observed on the rock of a neighbouring 
quarry. Dr. Crosskey entertains no doubt of the glacial 
origin of the facts described, and quotes some remarkable 
examples of the long distances travelled over by erratic 
blocks. He mentions specially a number and variety of 
blocks found near Wolverhampton, which came 'without 
question ' from the Lake District and the South of Scotland ; 
of others found recently in a section of Boulder Clay at 
Icknield Street, Birmingham, of which some, and a large 
proportion, had been brought from the rocks which occur 
in situ at the Berwyn and Arenig hills in Wales, and 
shows that the ' sandstone rock against which this boulder 
clay rested was broken up, and large fragments of it were 
lifted out of their position and thrust into the middle of 
the drift.' If brought by land-ice, the whole face of the 
country must have changed to allow their deposit so high 
above the sea-level ; and if floated in icebergs, the land 
must have been lower at least 900 feet to have allowed the 
icebergs to float and their burden to be dropped. The 
Midland erratics must have travelled from three distinct 
regions : (i) from Wales, (2) from the western part of 
the Lake District, (3) or from Kirkcudbrightshire. 
Boulders from the more easterly part of the Lake District, 

42 History of Warwickshire. 

such as the Shap granite boulders, so abundantly spread 
over Yorkshire, have not been found in the Midland 
district, where erratics are peculiar. ' Commencing at 
Bushbury Hill (a little to the north of Wolverhampton, on 
the table-land facing to the north-west), the Lake Rocks 
and the Scotch Rocks Criffell granites and Eskdale 
granites are largely intermingled. Journeying westwards, 
a stream of boulders from Wales crosses the northern 
streams. On and around the Clent Hills (1023 feet), south- 
west of Birmingham, Welsh felsites are the only boulders 
to be found, Birmingham being protected by its position 
from the stream of boulders from the north, and only a 
few fragments of granite being occasionally found ' (Cross- 
key, pp. 248-253). 



Native Animals. Beasts, Birds and Reptiles. Fishes and Molluscs. 
Microscopic Fauna. Flowering Plants, Ferns, Mosses and 
Lichens. Algae. 

THESE two important subjects have had very little 
attention, except in the publications of local societies, 
until the meeting of the British Association at Birming- 
ham in 1886, when a series of reports on the Midland 
district was prepared for the local ' Hand-book.' The 
zoology was under the editorial care of Mr. W. R. Hughes, 
F.L.S., and the botany was entrusted to Mr. William 
Mathews, M.A., and in both cases the reports were written 
by competent specialists. The result has been a brief but 
excellent summary, of which only the Warwickshire 
portion need be given here, and in fact many of the 
details are too scientific and technical for a f Popular 
History.' The radius of the survey was twenty miles from 
Birmingham, so that the area includes parts of Stafford- 
shire and Worcestershire, and not the whole of Warwick- 

' The district around Birmingham is admirably suited to 
our native animals, abounding as it does with fertile and 
well-watered valleys, wild moorlands, and extensive woods ; 
on the other hand, its large population renders the pro- 

44 History of Warwickshire. 

longed existence of individual and striking varieties well- 
nigh impossible/ Among the mammals the great bat is 
found near Kingsbury and Tamworth ; the hairy-armed 
bat, with zigzag flight, on the Avon ; the reddish-gray bat, 
the Daubenton bat, the whiskered bat, the long-eared bat, 
the Barbutelle bat, and the lesser horseshoe bat, are found 
in many parts of the county. The hedgehog, the mole, 
the common and the water shrew, are also well known, but 
the two last-named are rare. The badger is rare, but 
fairly well distributed, and the otter is found in the Tame 
and Anker and their tributaries, and also in the Warwick- 
shire Avon, in which river the largest otter locally known, 
and weighing twenty-eight pounds, was caught in 1886. 
The weasel and stoat are plentiful, but the polecat or 
fitchet is becoming very rare. The fox, being strictly 
preserved in many parts of the county, is sufficiently 
abundant. The squirrel is not common, but is found in 
most of the many large woods, and builds on the forked 
branches of the trees. The dormouse is rare, the harvest- 
mouse very common all over the county, and the long- 
tailed field-mouse and the common mouse are also 
numerous. The black rat is rarely found except in the 
cellars of large towns, where it is comparatively secure 
from its great enemy the brown rat, which is abundant. 
The water-vole or water-rat is very common in all the 
Midland streams. The red field or bank vole is plentiful 
in the meadows, and is constantly found by hay-makers. 
The hare and the rabbit are both very common, although 
greatly reduced in numbers since the passing of the Hares 
and Rabbits Bill in 1881. The red deer is not known in 
the county, but the fallow deer is found in large numbers 
in Stoneleigh, Charlcote and other great parks throughout 

Reptiles are not numerous, but the viviparous lizard is 
found in Sutton Park, and also the blind worm ; the ringed 
snake and the viper or adder are locally known, but generally 

Beasts^ Birds, and Reptiles. 45 

rare. A large number were killed in Sutton Park in 1884. 
The common frog and common toad are plentiful, and 
the warty newt and the smooth newt are very generally 

Birds afford no special interest even to the enthusiastic 
and microscopic ornithologist, but the numerous brooks, 
rivers, reservoirs and pools form favourite haunts for all 
sorts of aquatic birds. The local species recorded are large, 
consisting of about sixty residents, forty-two migrants, and 
eighty occasional or rare visitants a total of one hundred 
and eighty-two species. Although so far inland large 
numbers of marine or littoral birds are frequently observed, 
such as the curlew, sandpiper, turnstone, ring dotterill and 
common and Arctic terns, from whose visits some of the 
knotty problems of migration may be solved. These 
species are generally observed in the autumn, and the 
examples are invariably immature or birds of the year. 
The large waterworks reservoirs at Shustoke, twelve miles 
from Birmingham, are regularly visited every year by large 
numbers of gulls in search of the fish of the reservoirs, but 
the visitors are summer visitors only, and do not remain 
long. The osprey, the peregrine falcon, the hobby, the 
merlin, the kestrel, the kite, the sparrow-hawk, the common 
buzzard, the rough-legged buzzard, the honey buzzard, the 
hen harrier and the marsh harrier are also found, but some 
(like the two last-named) very rarely. The tawny owl, the 
long-eared owl, the short-eared owl and the barn owl are 
very generally found in all parts of Warwickshire. The 
red-backed shrike is generally distributed, and breeds, and 
the great gray shrike is sometimes found in autumn and 
winter. The thrush is common, and the blackbird is every- 
where and increasing. The nightingale is not very plenti- 
ful, but fairly numerous in many localities, where its nests 
are built and its rich song heard. The whole of Worcester- 
shire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire are within the 
remarkable line within which only the nightingale is 

46 History of Warwickshire. 

found. The kingfisher is common in the rivers and 
brooks, the great crested grebe breeds in Sutton Park, 
and there are several heronries in the county. The bittern, 
once plentiful, is now rarely found. The stormy petrel has 
often been found, and some (as the great auk) have been 
picked up exhausted during stormy weather in the streets 
of Birmingham and other large towns. Flocks of geese 
are often seen flying overhead, but too high and too quickly 
to be identified, and large gulls also are often seen. The 
visits of such birds, even as birds of passage only, is 
remarkable, when it is remembered that Warwickshire is a 
thoroughly Midland county, nearly one hundred miles from 
the nearest coast-line. The report by Mr. R. W. Chase, 
from which these details are taken, is a very valuable 
addition to local ornithology. 

Fishes and mollusca may seem to have little connection 
with any Midland area, but Mr. G. Sherriff Tye has sum- 
marised all that are known, and chiefly from his own 
personal observations. Many excellent ( waters ' are 
within easy reach of Birmingham, and are therefore well 
known to the naturalist as well as to the practical 
' Waltonian.' He says : ' To those who do not incline 
to the study of fish or fishery, it will probably be a 
matter of surprise to know the abundance and the 
variety of species occurring within an hour's walk of 
the centre of our town/ Of the river Tame, a well- 
known angler states : ' In my opinion this is a remark- 
able little river. In three and a half miles it contains 
in abundance at least ten species of fish viz., trout, 
pike, chub, tench, perch, roach, rudd, dace, gudgeon, 
minnow, all of which except the pike attain to a size 
equal to any in rivers or pools within a hundred miles 
of Birmingham. Large fish are not so common now 
as formerly, but probably this river will recover, and 
attain its wonted excellence when the "Black Country" 
sewerage works are completed. The river Cole is a fine 

Fishes and Molluscs. 47 

trout stream. The river Blythe, Coleshill, is an excellent 
stream, especially for eels. Earlswood and the Corpora- 
tion Reservoir, the pools at Sutton Coldfield, Great Barr 
Park, King's Norton, Barnt Green, and many others, are 
all well stocked with fish, and will render fine examples 
to all who seek them.' The recorded number of local 
species is thirty-three. Perch, carp, tench, bream, roach, 
dace, loach, pike, trout, grayling, lamprey, are commonly 
found in some localities in the county. Even ' salmon, 
the king of British fishes,' comes within our radius of 
twenty miles. It has been taken from eel-traps in the 
river Tame at Tamworth, in the river Trent at Yoxall, 
and in the river Severn at Bewdley, where a fish of 40 Ib. 
has been landed. Lochleven trout have been introduced 
into the new reservoir (90 acres) of the Birmingham 
Corporation at Shustoke (April, 1884), by 3,000 fish, and 
another reservoir at Witton had 2,000 more, and the fish 
now (August, 1886) weigh from 2 to 3^1b., so that 'these 
reservoirs will, in a few years, be good places for this 
species of trout.' 

The mollusca, terrestrial and fluviatile, have an excellent 
field within a twelve-mile radius of Birmingham, and fifty 
per cent, of the species and varieties enumerated by Dr. 
J. Gwyn Jeffreys in his ' British Conchology ' are found. 
The details would be interesting only to specialists, and 
the scientific names of little general interest, as given in 
a condensed form by Mr. Tye, but they will be found 
valuable to those who wish to refer to a very complete and 
elaborate summary of the numbers and varieties of local 
molluscs. Insects are by no means a characteristic of the 
Midland counties, but the report of Mr. W. G. Blatch 
has given a very elaborate account of the genera and 
species, many of which have only recently been ' dis- 
covered ' by local naturalists. He gives special attention 
to the rarer and more interesting species, and to the 
localities in which they are found. He notes, too, espe- 

48 History of Warwickshire. 

cially, that while there are many curious gaps as compared 
with other areas, there are some remarkable ' finds ' of 
examples which are unknown, except in districts a 
hundred miles away. 

Microscopic fauna were most minutely and elaborately 
described by the late Mr. Thomas Bolton, whose whole 
life was devoted to but practically shortened and sacrificed 
by his generous and unselfish studies, for many years, 
from love of science only, and without hope or desire of 
recognition or reward. He spared no labour or time in 
personal exploration of the canals, rivers, reservoirs, 
' swags/ and ' catch-pits/ among the ' spoil-banks ' in 
the * Black Country/ as well as among the clay-pits on 
farm-lands ; and he has left an honourable name, and 
a series of observations which have enriched the records of 
the microscopic researches of modern times as to minute 
animal life. He found, for example, in Sutton Park, 
specimens of the diving-bell spider, which Mr. W. Saville 
Kent found to be new to science. He discovered, locally, 
in Olton Reservoir, at Solihull, the transparent Leptodora 
hyalina, which has since been found in other localities, and 
also the Melicerta janus, new to England, in June, 1886, 
although it had been found in Scotland in 1880. His 
researches into the beautiful Rotifera were especially 
valuable, because he spared no time or trouble, and 
modestly contented himself with occasional contributions 
to the local Natural History Society, and by his ready and 
willing help to all who sought his aid in their studies of 
the wonders of the minute world which he delighted to 
explore and to explain. 

Botany has been the special subject of a 'specialist,' Mr. 
William Matthews, M.A., who not only edited, but 
contributed to a series of reports on the botany of the 
Midland districts in the ' Hand-book ' already referred to. 
No similar survey had been previously made, and no such 
collection of facts had been compiled. His introduction 

Flowering Plants, Ferns, Etc. 49 

sums up the previous works on the subject, local or 
general, followed by papers by ' specialists,' as flowering 
plants, ferns, etc., by J. E. Bagnall, A.L.S. ; mosses, 
hepatics, and lichens, by J. E. Bagnall ; algae, by A. W. 
Wills ; and fungi, by W. B. Grove, B.A. The details, 
although compactly set forth, are too elaborate for further 
condensation, and only a few general facts will be suitable 
for these pages. The flowering plants, ferns, etc., of 
Warwickshire are described under a very useful classifica- 
tion the names of the rivers : (I.) Tame, (II.) Blythe, 
(III.) Anker, (IV.) Avon, (V.) Sow, (VI.) Alne, and (VII.) 
Arrow ; and under each of these heads the number is 
shown, and the names of the rarer specimens are given, 
while brief details of the general character of the district are 
prefixed. ' The greatest elevations occur at Hartshill, 
Dosthill, Corley, Alne Hills, and Arrow, none of which 
exceed 550 feet above the sea. As a whole it is well 
wooded, but the woods are usually small and not produc- 
tive of the rarer woodland species. Heathlands are 
mostly reclaimed, and the more extensive marshes and 
bogs drained, hence ericetal and bog plants are rare.' The 
sub-districts are thus described : 

(I.) Tame. ' The country is generally flat, but is slightly 
elevated both on the right and left banks near Arley, 
Middleton, Dosthill, and Shustoke. In this district about 
750 flowering plants and ferns are recorded.' 

(II.) Blythe. 'This is mostly flat, the soils are usually 
sand, marl, and clay. Heathlands occur near Earlswood 
and Coleshill ; bogs and marshes near Coleshill and 
Barston. The recorded flora is about 820 flowering 
plants and ferns.' 

(III.) Anker. ' In this district the Warwickshire coal- 
fields occur ; and it is possibly due to the great prevalence 
of smoke that its flora is meagre, and the plants often 
depauperated. The recorded flora is about 680 flowering 
plants and ferns.' 

(IV.) Avon. ' This valley is beautifully undulating and 


50 History of Warwickshire. 

well-wooded, watered by many minor streams, with very 
varied soils, and usually highly cultivated. Its flora is 
peculiar from the absence of bog and heath plants, the 
records comprising about 970 flowering plants and ferns.' 

(V.) Sow. 'The flora of this sub-district is about 691 
flowering plants and ferns.' 

(VI.) Alne. ' Is somewhat hilly. The Lias soils pre- 
vail in southern part of the district. The flora is about 
745 flowering plants and ferns.' 

(VII.) Arrow. ' Is well wooded. The soils are mostly 
Keuper Marls and sand, with Lias soils prevailing about 
Wixford. The flora has not been fully worked out, but 
the record is now about 706 flowering plants and ferns.' 

Algae have been neglected till Mr. A. W. Wills under- 
took the work, but his care and skill have already 
made a valuable record. He says : ' Hence, as the neigh- 
bourhood of Birmingham is mostly characterized by light 
and porous soils, the habitats in which algae are to be 
found are somewhat restricted. There are, however, two 
conspicuous exceptions. The tract of land about seven 
miles from Birmingham, known as Sutton Park, embraces 
a singular variety of scenery and presents conditions highly 
favourable to algoid growth in the shape of clear springs 
and streams, large sheets of water, and a considerable 
area of peaty bogs,' and the marshy districts of the neigh- 
bourhood afford among their * pit-banks' a ' number of 
pools which are seldom dried up, even in the hottest 
summer, and many of which are partially fed by water 
from adjacent mines or engines,' and thus form a 'rich 
hunting-ground for students of fresh-water algae.' Minute 
details are given of local examples of algae, and one re- 
markable ' find ' is well worth quotation : * The Diato- 
maceae of the neighbourhood do not appear to have been 
the objects of systematic study, and the only species of 
special interest which we remember to have found is the 
wonderful Bacillaria Paradoxa, well known as a remark- 
able microscopic object, from the strange manner in which 

Alga. 51 

its linear frustules slide over one another, so that the whole 
plant is incessantly assuming a different form. It has 
been found by [the late] Mr. Bolton, along with many other 
species, in a disused arm of the canal near Albion Station, 
and by the writer in a small stream near the same spot.' 

Fungi have a literary as well as scientific interest in 
Warwickshire, since one of the early and able fungologists 
was long resident in the county, and since he not only first 
gave fungi their due place in the British flora, but because 
he also discovered and classified a large number of species 
and varieties new to Britain and to science. At his resi- 
dence, Edgbaston Hall, where a large park was at his 
service, and wherein some of his favourite fungi may still 
be found, Dr. William Withering pursued his botanical 
researches and wrote his famous * Arrangement of British 
Plants.' Mr. W. B. Grove, B.A., has given a brief but 
careful account not only of Dr. Withering and his works, 
but of Thomas Purton, of Alcester, whose ' Midland Flora ' 
(1817-1821) was, and still is, a valuable work, in which 
were coloured engravings of thirty-five species of fungi ; but 
the study had been neglected for some years till Mr. Grove 
and Mr. J. E. Bagnall undertook the work, and have now 
recorded considerably more than nine hundred in the 
' district twenty miles round Birmingham/ of which 
Warwickshire takes a very large share. Mrs. Russell, of 
Kenilworth, some years ago made a special study of the 
Hymenomycetes of the limited area of Kenilworth, Stone- 
leigh and Warwick, and bequeathed to the British Museum 
more than three hundred coloured illustrations of the ex- 
amples she had collected. Mr. Grove gives an extensive 
list of the local varieties of the various species, with 
the places where they have been found, and notes some 
remarkable examples which, if not unique in the neigh- 
bourhood, have their only resemblances very many miles 
away. Mr. Grove's paper is a very useful index and 
record, and he hopes it may reach to still further studies 
of microscopic mycology. 



British and Roman Roads. Tumuli. Icknield Street. Fosse-Way, 
Watling Street. Anglo-Saxon and Roman Remains. British 
Keltic, and Saxon Place-names. Earthworks and Camps. 
Danish Traces. Norman Surveys and Castles. Military and 
Civil Architecture. Early Churches. Dissolution of Monasteries. 
Sepulchral Monuments. Sepulchral Brasses. Effigies and 
Altar Tombs. Beauchamp Chapel at Warwick. Shakespearian 
and Contemporary Monuments at Stratford-on-Avon. Ruined or 
deserted Churches. 

' ARCHAEOLOGICAL ' has not only superseded the old word 
' antiquarian,' but has, during the last forty years, marked 
a more definite and scientific study of the relics of the past. 
The present use of the word involves a scientific study and 
not a mere dilettante record of antiquities of all ages. In 
the last century, even, as shown by the contributions to 
the Gentleman's Magazine^ and even by the more careful 
papers in the Archczologia of the Society of Antiquaries, 
the faculty of observation and the power of description 
were limited and untrustworthy. The art of drawing, too, 
was often amusingly faulty ; and the engravings of 
antiquities which still remain almost unaltered, afford 
ludicrous examples of mis-observation, and so far dis- 
tort the objects, that they can scarcely be identified 
unless the names are given. In no cases are these differ- 

British and Roman Roads. 53 

ences more marked than in the representation of archi- 
tectural remains ; and it is especially curious to see how 
carelessly the artists of the past copied what was before 
their eyes, as compared with the finished, careful and 
accurate drawings of the past forty years. The love of 
antiquities has rapidly increased with the better knowledge 
of their interest and value, and far more care is given to 
their preservation, although the ' modern Goth ' is still too 
busy in destroying or ' restoring ' the memorials of old 
times. The principal and popular societies have not only 
done much to educate the public taste, but have by their 
visits and papers by competent observers done far more by 
explaining and illustrating archaeological remains. The 
Ancient Monuments Act of Sir John Lubbock, although 
far too limited in powers of survey and purchase, has 
saved many historic relics from destruction, and if Great 
Britain were as civilized as France and some other states, 
ample national grants would be given for the preservation 
of national monuments from neglect and destruction. The 
' Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings ' and the 
* Society for Preserving the Memorials of the Dead,' well 
deserve far more support than they receive for their careful 
surveys and real restoration of places and buildings of 
historic interest, and of the monuments of the dead which 
are supposed to be ' sacred to the memory,' but are too 
often imperilled or destroyed by some ' restorer ' clerical 
or lay. The English people are notoriously ' conservative,' 
and even the ignorant and illiterate regard the relics of the 
past with respect and reverence, while the cultured people 
profess to admire the quaint old houses, venerable churches, 
grand cathedrals and picturesque castles ; but no adequate 
organization has yet been formed for the preservation of 
the memorials which Americans come in crowds to see, 
and which are, in many senses, a sacred trust for future 

ROMAN. Archaeology was originally held to refer 

54 History of Warwickshire. 

chiefly to prehistoric monuments, but now includes all 
relics of antiquity, from the dawn of history down almost 
to our own times. Warwickshire may not be so rich in 
remains as many other counties, but it has many remains 
of exceptional interest far too many to be fully described. 
In the strict sense of the word ' prehistoric/ no remains 
are known, except, of course, in the case of early camps 
and tumuli and ancient roads which are within the limits 
of written history, but of which little or nothing is definitely 
known. The antiquities as well as the history of the far- 
distant periods are necessarily only imperfectly known, and 
a difference, often of several centuries, may occur as to the 
date of a stone memorial, or a grassy tumulus, or the age 
of an ancient road. For example, the Rollright Stones, 
already referred to, may be prehistoric, or of the time of 
Alfred and the Danes. The roads which bear Roman 
names and run past Roman camps may have been origin- 
ally old British ways through Arden long before even 
Julius Caesar's days. The numerous tumuli scattered 
throughout the county may be of Anglo-Saxon, or early 
British, or of prehistoric date. The names of Roman 
stations may, and sometimes do, include the names of 
earlier British villages or camps ; while the names of places 
-are often so ancient as to puzzle philologists to find their 
origin and meaning. 

The ' Commentaries ' of Julius Caesar, as records of his 
invasion, give a clear and graphic account of what he saw 
and heard of eighteen hundred years ago ; but as he pene- 
trated little further than the Thames, his descriptions 
throw only a side-light on the Midland counties. The 
only relics of the Roman occupation to be found in War- 
wickshire are in the names of the great roads and stations. 
The Ryknield Street and the Watling Street have long 
runs through or near the county. The Ryknield or Ick- 
nield Street enters the county on the south of Bidford-on- 
Avon, and runs nearly due north through Birmingham, and 

Roman Roads and Stations. 55 

meets the Watling Street from the south-east at Etocetum 
(or Wall), near Lichfield, thus passing through part of 
South-East Warwickshire, East Worcestershire, the out- 
lying peninsular part of Warwickshire in which Birmingham 
stands, and thence through part of Staffordshire. The line 
of the road is singularly well marked, except that near 
Birmingham ; but one part through that town still bears the 
name ' Icknield Street.' The line through Sutton Park, for 
nearly three miles, is most distinct, and really unaltered in 
line and width and level, except that it is grass-grown. 
No Roman remains, except a few coins, have been found, 
and Stukeley's guess that the Roman ' Bremenium ' de- 
noted Birmingham has long ago been found to be wrong. 
The little town of Alcester (on the Alne and Arrow) is 
doubtless the Roman 'Alauna/and Roman bricks, urns, 
and gold and silver coins have been found ; but no clear 
traces of a 'station,' although the line of road, the local in- 
dications, and the name clearly show traces of Roman 
occupation. No other ' station ; is known between Alcester 
and Etocetum, for a small square camp at Harborne, near 
Birmingham, cannot be identified as a Roman work. The 
whole of the line of road is less solidly constructed than 
that of Watling Street, and this fact, with the name of the 
' Iceni/ an old British tribe of the neighbourhood, is reason-* 
able evidence that Icknield or Ryknield Street was really 
an old British road from the Severn to the Mersey and 
the Tyne when extended and developed during the Roman 
occupation. The very name of the road and the derivation 
just mentioned require, however, some explanation, as the 
Eastern counties line is more truly the Icknield Street, 
which extended from the Norfolk coast by Cambridge, Old 
Sarum, and Exeter, to the extremity of Cornwall. The 
western line, running north and south as above named, is, 
however, more generally known as ' Icknield Street ' (from 
St. David's, by Gloucester, to the mouth of the Tyne, to 
vary the description) ; but the authorities generally agree 

56 History of Warwickshire. 

that it should be known as Ryknield Street to avoid con- 

The other great line of road originally British, but 
practically Roman, since it was paved and improved by 
the conquerors extended from Richborough through 
Canterbury, London, Stony Stratford, etc., to Chester, and 
thence into Wales, forming the great north-western road. 
It enters Warwickshire near Rugby, and thence to Ather- 
stone forms the boundary-line between Warwickshire and 
Leicestershire. Although the line of the road has remained 
unaltered, very few remains of Roman occupation have 
been found. The first station, Tripontium, is said to be at 
Cave's Inn, near Rugby, where some glazed Samian ware, 
a bronze stylus, and some fibulae and keys of Roman date 
were dug up some years ago ; and similar relics have been 
unearthed at other places near the line of road. ' High 
Cross,' about half-way between Rugby and Atherstone, 
was a place of great importance as the point at which 
another ancient road enters the Watling Street from the 
south-west. A few miles further the village of Mancetter 
marks the site and preserves the name of the Roman 
station Manduessedum, one of the highest points in the 
county, and the name of which is held by Keltic etymolo- 
gists to include the ancient British ' maen,' as a lofty 
mound, still called Oldbury, is near. No exact site of any 
Roman camp or station has been found, but the importance 
of the place and the occasional discovery of gold and silver 
coins clearly show that Man4uessedum was occupied as a 
Roman station, and Atherstone, very near, was also an im- 
portant place. On the sun>nait of Oldbury, however, there 
are traces of a quadrangular camp, which some have sup- 
posed to be the * summer camp ' (cainpus czstiva) to the 
Roman station near, and this is probable ; but as many 
flint ' celts ' and other stone weapons have been found, 
there can be no doubt that an old British stronghold had 
been extended and fortified by the Romans during their 

Roman Roads and Fosse-Way. 57 

occupation. The line of road continues through Ather- 
stone (which has been absurdly supposed to have been 
originally Hitherstone, as marking the nearest * milliarium' 
to Manduessedum, but which is certainly derived from 
some Saxon Edric or Aldred). The town shows several 
marks of Roman occupation, and some fragments of 
Roman work have been found. A few miles further the 
Watling Street leaves Warwickshire near Wilnecote (south 
of Tamworth), and continues to Etocetum (or Wall), where 
it meets the Ryknield, as already shown. 

Another of the great old roads through Warwickshire is 
known by its older name, ' The Fosse- Way/ but is generally 
called the ' Roman Fosse- Way,' as it was also used by 
those conquerors in the later times of their occupation of 
Mid-England. The other two roads only skirted the 
county, and avoided, with true tactical skill, the dense 
Forest of Arden, in which the enemy had a secure retreat 
from any attack on the Roman legions on their marches 
across the country. The Fosse- Way is now seen to be an 
inferior roadway as compared with the Watling and the 
Ryknield Streets, but there is little doubt that it was 
largely used by the Romans when their power had been 
more fully assured. It enters the county on the south- 
west at Stretton-under- Fosse, and runs north-east to High 
Cross, which was thus an important 'junction,' and where 
in 1712 a cross was erected to record that this was the 
centre of Roman Britain, ' whence their celebrated military 
ways, crossing one another, extend to the utmost 
boundaries of Britain.' The inscription adds, ' Here the 
Vennones kept their quarter, a;nd at the distance of one 
mile from hence, Claudius, ascertain commander of a 
cohort, seems to have had a camp towards the Street, and 
towards the Foss, a tomb.' The cross and its inscription 
have long disappeared, but a tumulus near is supposed to 
cover the remains of some Roman hero, and the site is 
known as ' Cloudsley ' Bush. The line of the Fosse-Way 

58 History of Warwickshire. 

runs nearly parallel with the main road of modern times 
from Stratford-on-Avon to Nuneaton, which is itself a very 
ancient road, running through Coventry and Warwick and 
Kenilworth, but probably not so generally used in Roman 
times as the other Roman stations which are nearer the 
Fosse-Way line. The direction of the Fosse-way is even 
now nearly a straight line between Stretton-on-the-Fosse 
and Nuneaton, and along the larger part of its course of 
forty miles it rises and falls with the surface of the country 
generally, but has some deep cuttings and many pictur- 
esque views really, an ' old-world ' road. The principal 
traces of Roman occupation are found at Chesterton, 
near Harbury Station and Southam, with remains of a 
large rectangular camp, evidently Roman ; and many 
Roman coins have been found on the site. Warwick is 
six miles westward, and as it is considered on good autho- 
rity to have been the ' Presidium ' of the Romans, it was 
probably held as one of the old British forts commanding 
the larger part of Warwickshire. Still further north-east- 
wards, as Watling Street is approached, the traces of 
Roman occupation increase, but it is remarkable that 
Warwickshire is not known to have any cemeteries of 
Roman date, nor even any cinerary urns. At Brinklow, 
through which the Fosse-Way passes, there is a large 
tumulus of uncertain date, and there are some few traces 
of a camp. At Monk's Kirby remains of old walls and 
bricks, clearly Roman, had been found, which induced 
Camden and Dugdale to suppose that the Romans had a 
station there, but no thorough exploration has been made, 
and probably, according to Camden, the ' foundations ' 
have been used for other buildings, and are now lost. 
Near Wibtoft, a short distance from Monk's Kirby, and on 
the county border, in the angle between the Fosse-Way and 
Watling Street, at High-Cross, a flourishing Roman city 
is said to have stood, with the name of Cleychester, which 
Dugdale describes as having left scarcely any vestiges in 

Anglo-Saxon Remains. 59 

his time (c. 1650), 'the very foundations having been for 
the most part turned up by the plough and the spade, and 
large stones, Roman bricks, with ovens and wells nay, 
coins of silver and brass mixed with its ruins frequently 
discovered.' It is certainly unfortunate that no traces 
remain of one of the most important of all the Roman 
1 stations ' in Britain, whose central position must have 
brought together all sorts of people, and whose relics 
might have been more important than those found at 
Chester or Wroxeter or York. 

In some few other parts of the county other Roman 
remains are said to have been found for example, at Wil- 
loughby, six miles south-east of Rugby, and three miles 
from Dunchurch, and some at Brownsover and Prince- 
thorpe ; but the knowledge and vigilance of Mr. M. H. 
Bloxam, F.S.A., of Rugby, during more than sixty years, 
has rarely been rewarded by any important discovery of 
relics of the period of the Roman occupation of Britain, or 
of any detailed survey of the sites of their numerous camps 
in or near Warwickshire during the centuries of their 
imperial rule. 

ANGLO-SAXON. Although this form has long been 
used to describe generally the influx and influence of suc- 
cessive generations of invaders after the departure of the 
Romans and before the arrival of the Normans, many 
modern historians have long held that it would be wiser 
and more correct to write of ' Saxons ' only than to modify 
the word by the use of the word 'Anglo-,' whose exact 
extent cannot well be defined. The three great sorts of 
invaders (or, as compared with the Romans and the 
Normans, practically and finally ' colonists ') were Jutes, 
who peopled Kent and some of the south-western counties ; 
Saxons, who covered Essex, Middlesex and Wessex ; and 
Angles, who occupied East Anglia and the northern parts 
of Britain. The exact divisions and descriptions are some- 
what arbitrary and uncertain ; the lines often overlapped, 

60 History of Warwickshire. 

and the three tribes were very slowly blended in the course 
of years, although ethnologically and physically the differ- 
ences in type and race are often strongly marked. Ex- 
amples numerous enough to be authoritative, or^at least 
puzzling, are found of distinct South-Saxon physique even 
in Mid-England. The generic name of ' Saxon,' irre- 
spective of shades of difference, will, therefore, be ^used to 
describe the monumental remains in Warwickshire. These 
are not numerous nor remarkable, and in very few instances 
can definite or even approximate dates be assigned. Many 
of the tumuli, for example, have had their external lines so 
changed by time and weather, or by farming operations, that 
they cannot be positively identified, except in the instances in 
which they have been opened and some remains found with 
articles of personal or official forms to show whether the 
mounds are British or Saxon graves. A considerable number 
have yet to be opened and examined, but the result is not 
likely to affect the general record. Another characteristic 
of some of the Warwickshire mounds increases the diffi- 
culties of determining their date and use. Some of the 
larger and loftier have evidently been used as beacons, but 
whether they are burial-places as well as beacons could 
only be discovered by the results of careful searches for 
any funeral remains. 'Two tumuli near Rugby/ Mr. 
Bloxam says, not only ' served as sepulchral monuments, 
but formed links in the telegraphic communications between 
the two great British trackways, the Watling Street and 
the Fosse-Road, along the northern boundary of the Dobuni; 
that on the Lawford road communicating, either directly 
or through the mound in the village of Church Lawford, 
to a tumulus at Wolston on the high ground near the 
Fosse-Road ; whilst the tumulus in the [Rugby] School 
Close was in connection with that at Hillmorton, in a field 
adjoining the vicarage, which communicates with the small 
British post near the Watling Street at Lilbourne, from 
which the communication was again carried on southwards 

Earth Works and Tumuli. 61 

by tumuli on or near the Watling Street.' He also adds 
that this plan of signalling among the Gauls is alluded to 
by Caesar, that smoke from fires by day and the light of 
fires by night were the means employed ; and further adds 
that ' so late as the Civil Wars of the seventeenth century 
one cf the Warwickshire fire-beacons was erected on one 
of the ancient British tumuli, that known as Cloudsley 
Bush, in the parish of Monk's Kirby.' The great tumulus 
at Brinklow, and the larger one at Seckington, near Tarn- 
worth, probably served in their time the double purpose, 
and although the Seckington mound is definitely assigned 
to A.D. 757, and the battle between Cuthred, king of the 
West Saxons, and Ethelwold, king of the Mercians, in which 
the latter fell by a traitor's hand, there is little room for 
doubt that it was originally a British work, as the remains 
of a large circular camp help to prove. As Tamworth and 
Kingsbury were nearly in the centre of the Mercian king- 
dom, and the latter is said to have been one of the halls of 
the Mercian kings, and the place where Burtulphus resided 
and held a grand council of his prelates and nobles A.D. 851, 
and as Tamworth was another of the royal seats, and traces 
of * herring-bone ' masonry are still visible in the base of 
the lower walls, these two places merit special notice as 
famous in Saxon times. At Offchurch, near Leamington, 
Offa', the eleventh of the Mercian kings, built a stately 
palace, and Dugdale states that first the church and after- 
wards the village took OfiVs name ; but the glories have 
departed, and only a few houses and a few foundations 
mark the site. At Walton, near Wellesbourne, one of the 
largest discoveries of Saxon relics was made in 1774, 
according to Gough's ' Addition to Camden,' when ' three 
skulls lying in a row, with two Saxon jewels set in gold, 
one with an opal and two rubies, and the other adorned on 
both sides with a cross, between two rude human figures, 
with a sword or lance at the outer hand of each/ were 

62 History of Warwickshire. 

Although the monumental and material remains of the 
Saxon period are rare in Warwickshire, philology has dis- 
covered and explained the origin and meaning of many 
words which, after many changes, very curiously indicate 
the extent and influence of Saxon rule. The general forest 
area of Warwickshire made wholesale invasion and abso- 
lute conquest difficult, and changes in population neces- 
sarily slow. There can be little doubt that the ancients, 
Kelts or Britons, 'held their own,' and were only slowly 
and partially influenced by the invasions of Saxons. The 
Romans were a military and conquering people, whose 
power was principally on the lines of the great roads at 
any rate, so far as Mid-England was concerned. The 
Saxons were more like colonists and settlers, and slowly 
but surely blended with the older tribes. This, in the 
absence of written history and records of changes which 
were slow and silent, may reasonably be examined by the 
light which philology affords as to names and places. The 
names of rivers and hills still remain distinctly Keltic 
Arden, Lickey, Avon, Alne, Arrow and Rea while many 
affixes, like ' cote ' and ' combe/ are clearly Keltic. The 
name of the county, although it has had many changes, is, 
beyond all doubt, of Keltic origin, and is given by 
Nennius as ' Guoricon, Guorichon and Guerican,' a plural 
form of which Guorich is the singular ; and the root remains 
in all the twenty-four variations of ancient records from 
Nennius down to Domesday Book. Some of these will 
serve to show the links in the chain and the survival of the 
Keltic root, e.g., Caer Guaric, Caer Gwar, Guarewic, fol- 
lowed by the softer sounds of Waring-wicon, Waerincwic, 
Werewic, Wareing-wicscire, Weric, down to the Warwic of 
Domesday Book. All these examples may be accepted 
as cumulative evidence (although Keltic etymologies are 
proverbially treacherous), and are supported by the records 
of John Rous, of Warwick, that the name Gwayr was that 
of an ancient British prince, and that the softer form 

British, Keltic, and Saxon Place-Names. 63 

Waring-wicon (which first appears in the Saxon Chronicle) 
came from Warmund, an ancestor of Offa, King of Mercia. 
The late Mr. George Jabet (' Eden Warwick '), who was a 
specialist, but a careful ' Keltist/ and not a mere enthusi- 
astic guesser, held that the original name was ' Gawr ' only, 
and quoted the word as descriptive of many fortified 
places, always on heights, and especially in Wales. The 
second syllable, ' wick ' or ' wich,' is still a puzzle, but is 
probably from the Keltic ' gwic,' a fort, while the familiar 
' wich/ generally associated with salt-producing places, is 
supposed to come from the ancient Huiccii, in whose 
territory, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, salt-springs 
were found. The common terminations, like ' ton/ ' ham/ 
' ley/ ' stoke/ * combe/ etc., are numerous in Warwickshire, 
and Mr. Jabet further noted that while Dugdale's Warwick- 
shire includes 570 names of places, and Domesday Book 
300 in Warwickshire, the latter has 113 'ton ' and only 4 
'ham' terminations, and the former 167 'ton ' or 'don/ 55 
' ley/ and only 6 ' ham/ and he holds this to indicate * a 
prolonged intermixture between the Saxon invaders and 
the native British/ since ' ham ' is always home, and ' ton ' 
an enclosed place or fort. He concludes thus : ' The 
Saxon settlements in Warwickshire were evidently made 
among a hostile population ; while those in the eastern 
counties, where ' ham ' prevails, were made among a 
friendly people, those counties having been almost entirely 
Saxonised many years before the departure of the 
Romans.' Whether this theory is sound or not, it is cer- 
tainly clear from other words, like ' stoke/ ' worth/ 4 cote/ 
4 thorpe/ ' bury/ etc., that the Saxon influences in Warwick- 
shire were remarkably wide, continuous and permanent, 
but that large numbers of old Keltic names remained 
almost unchanged down to our own times. 

Although Saxon (or Anglo-Saxon) remains are rare in 
Warwickshire, their scarcity may be owing principally 
to the facts that only recently have such remains been 

64 History of Warwickshire. 

historically and scientifically studied, and also that War- 
wickshire has never been thoroughly surveyed since the 
importance of earthworks, tumuli, and funeral remains has 
been recognised. In many parts of England surveys care- 
fully made have brought many important facts to light, 
and the opening of tumuli has unearthed relics of rare im- 
portance as historic evidences for facts and dates. The late 
Mr. J. Tom Burgess, F.S.A., during his residence at Leam- 
ington, continued the researches of his friend Mr. M. H. 
Bloxam, F.S.A., many years before, and personally visited 
and examined and measured earthworths and tumuli in all 
parts of the county. He has left no formal record of his 
discoveries, except in a brief paper in an obscure and for- 
gotten serial, Long Ago (1873) ; some details of which are 
worthy of preservation, and especially as they show that 
further researches might and should be made. He found, 
in preparing a sketch-map, that there were several blanks 
left in former records, and especially as to the neighbour- 
hood of the Avon. He remarked that ' along the ancient 
trackways and Roman military roads, which can yet be 
traced along the boundary of the county, tumuli, earth- 
works, and traces of Roman occupation have long been 
noted and described. Along the course of the Avon until 
it crosses the Fosse- Way, in the neighbourhood of Wap- 
penbury [north-east of Leamington], where there are con- 
siderable Roman remains, there are abundant signs of a 
large population. The Fosse-Way thence continues its 
course in a south-westerly direction to Moreton-in-the- 
Marsh, a distance of about twenty miles. The intrench- 
ments of the Roman camp at Chesterton alone show 
the footprints of Roman settlers, whilst the remains of 
British settlements have not been noted. On the verge 
of the county Roman remains can be again discerned. 
Throughout this portion of its route the Fosse crosses the 
champaign country known as the Feldon, which appears 
for a long period to have been the debatable ground be- 

Earthworks and Camps. 65 

tween the ancient tribes the Roman, and still later the 
Saxon settlers. There is no station marked on any of the 
Roman itineraries along this route, though there appear 
to have been communications between the Roman station 
at Tripontium (Lilbourne), Benones (High-Cross) on the 
east [near Rugby], and the settlement at Alauna (Alcester) 
on the [south-Jwest. There must, therefore, have been a 
road or trackway from Wappenbury along the northern 
bank of the Avon ; and this, there is abundant evidence to 
prove, was the more ancient trackway, for it appears to 
have connected a series of British forts with each other. 
These forts were either connected with, or were in the 
immediate neighbourhood and within sight of, tumuli 
along the entire route. These forts appear to have been 
the frontier fortresses of the Cornavii, and before which 
Ostorius Scapula paused in his course northwards. The 
frontier fortresses of their southern neighbours can be as 
easily traced on the bluff headlands on the southern side 
of the Feldon, some ten to twelve miles distant. Of these 
northern strongholds only two or three are marked on the 
Ordnance Map ; indeed, the existence of some of them 
was unknown a few months ago [1873]. In the course of 
the autumn an agricultural friend, Mr. Cook, of Snitter- 
field [near Stratford], directed my attention to some earth- 
works, which he stated were in Barmoor Wood, about 
midway between Claverdon and Henley-in-Arden ; and 
may be found on the Ordnance Map between the Crab 
Mill and Cherry Pool. I took an early opportunity of 
visiting the spot, and by the courtesy of the occupier of the 
farm was enabled to inspect the wood at my leisure. I 
was accompanied by Mr. Thomas Gibbs, whose knowledge 
of that neighbourhood is very minute, and we had literally 
to force our way through the thick brushwood and round 
the mound and entrenchments which we found within 
Barmoor Wood, which appears to have formed a part of 
the ancient Forest of Arden. We estimated the extent of 


66 History of Warwickshire. 

the earthworks at between three and four acres. They 
are strongly marked, but what appears to be the outer 
vallum is considerably altered and modified by the fence 
which surrounds it. The plan and arrangement closely 
resemble a similar camp at Beausall, some six miles east- 
ward. On the north there is a well-defined causeway 
across the fosse which is twenty feet wide and some twelve 
feet deep, and this causeway connects the enclosure with 
an open plateau which commands an extensive view in 
every direction. The plan of the camp is slightly oval, 
and at its broadest part is 150 paces. We could not 
secure a more accurate survey in consequence of the 
thicket. On the southern side the hill was sharply escarped, 
and this had been increased by excavations for marl. This 
camp completes the line of fortresses between Alcester and 
Lilbourne. In all probability the great stronghold of the 
tribes who occupied these fortified mounds was the mound 
at Henley-in-Arden,the ancient name of which was Donni- 
lee, but was changed by the De Montforts to Beaudesert. 
This mound is only two miles distant from Barmoor 

' Encouraged by this discovery, I turned my attention to 
the south side of the Avon. My first discovery was a 
tumulus close by an ancient ford in the parish of Tach- 
brook, midway between Chesterton Camp and Warwick 
Castle. About one mile to the east of Chesterton is a 
huge mound bearing the name of Frismore Hill, adjoining 
the Fosse-Way. Seven miles to the west, on the same 
road, is Friz Hill, where many Saxon remains have been 
found. The hill opposite on the north is Red Hill, and 
within the wood which crowns its summit I found a well- 
defined large intrenchment which has not yet been accu- 
rately surveyed. This opened up a new field, for this was 
in a line with Meon Hill in Worcestershire, and seemed to 
indicate that there were the remains of old settlements 
between Meon Hill and Napton. At Hodnell, about a 

Earthworks and Camps. 67 

mile from a Roman intrenchment marked on the Ordnance 
Map, the sites of two deserted and abandoned villages can 
be traced ; and on the summit of the hill, towards the 
north, I found a small tumulus and two parallel banks of 
earth 50 yards apart and from 100 to 150 yards long. 
The northern valla fell away on the hillside so as to form 
a terrace of terraced steps with intervening fosses. A well 
was found in a hollow to the east. On the opposite hill 
there are further remains which appear to indicate the 
existence of a village. The Hodnell tumulus is within 
sight of the Roman intrenchment, and of the hill at Ches- 
terton, Napton, and the bluff frontier of North Hants. 
Thus the map of ancient Warwickshire is gradually 
filled up' (J. T. Burgess). 

After all allowances for the enthusiasm of a discoverer, 
and for possible errors of observation, there need be little 
doubt that these discoveries are substantially correct. He 
was an ' expert ' in earthworks, and was not likely to be 
mistaken in his series of observations, which, even if some- 
what overrated, certainly greatly help to clear up some of 
the obscurities of the topography of Warwickshire in the 
British, Saxon and Roman times. His knowledge of 
similar remains in many parts of England was extensive, 
as he was a constant attendant at the archaeological 
excursions of the ' Institute ' and ( Association,' and had 
excellent opportunities of becoming familiar with the early 
topography and history of England. His references to 
the Ordnance Map are, of course, only to the ' one-inch * 
scale, surveyed and printed some forty years ago, and 
probably not so detailed as would be desirable for archaeo- 
logical researches. The new map, now in course of publi- 
cation, being on the ' twenty-five-inch ' scale to the mile, 
necessarily gives far more minute and accurate details of 
all historic and prehistoric remains. On such a basis as is 
now available, and with the fact that the recent survey has 
given very special care to all ancient remains, by ' taking 


68 History of Warwickshire. 

counsel ' with local ' experts ' as to names and places, and 
varied pronunciations and spellings of place-names, the 
topography not only of Warwickshire, but of the counties 
generally, will have a stimulus and a reward for further 
reports on the roads and earthworks of old times. 

The Roman remains in Warwickshire are comparatively 
few and unimportant, and nearly all are limited to what 
are known as the great Roman roads, but these were 
always on the lines of the older British or Keltic roads, 
straightened, widened, improved, and with camps or 
stations as military posts to secure the communications 
' cross country ' from the Thames to the Mersey and the 
Severn to the H umber. These great roads have already 
been described, but one less known is that which still bears 
the name of * the Roman Fosse-Way/ and runs through 
the county from south-west to north-east, from Stratford- 
on-Avon to the Watling Street, and whose line still bears 
the older names of Shirley Street, Street's Brook, Monks- 
path Street, etc., which clearly indicate an ante-Roman 
road passing through the heart of ' Arden.' Only one 
Roman station in Warwickshire is mentioned by the early 
topographers, Manduessedum (or Mancetter, near Ather- 
stone), but another Alauna, now Alcester, is mentioned by 
Richard of Cirencester. Other Roman forts and towns are, 
however, known by casual mention, and Roman remains 
having been found at Warwick, Coventry, Chesterton, 
Cesterover, Harborough Banks, Willoughby, Monk's 
Kirby,Princethorpe,Wappenbury,Beaudesert(near Henley - 
in-Arden), Nabworth Camp and Vennonae. Most of these, 
however, show traces of earlier British names, and after 
the departure of the Romans these old British names were 
in many cases restored, and used not only in Saxon, but in 
Norman and later days. The Saxon affixes ' ceastre,' 
' ley,' ' ton,' ' worth/ etc., were really the revivals of the 
earlier Keltic names, and it seems to be clear that the 
ancient peoples were not lost but blended with the later 

Danish Traces. 69 

invaders age after age. The Roman camps were of three 
classes : the l castra exploratoria,' or temporary camps for 
surveys and short occupation ; ' castra aestiva/ for summer 
or temporary use ; and * castra stativa,' or permanent camps 
for conquered districts (which were to be held in subjection, 
and which often included the two previously named), and 
also the ' castra hiberna/ or winter quarters, which were 
often formed when more than a summer camo was found 
necessary. In the Warwickshire examples, and especially 
the remains at Mancetter and Atherstone, there seem to 
be remains of the ' castra aestiva ' and of the ' castra 
stativa ' respectively. The remains, however, are too few 
to indicate distinctly the extent of these camps, nor does 
the Roman Etocetum (near Lichfield) give much help, 
although, as the meeting-point of the Rykenield and 
Watling Streets, it must have been an important station. 
The famous Itinerary of Antoninus (A.D. 320) mentions 
only the names (and distances) of three places in Warwick- 
shire : ' Etoceto, m.p. xii. ; Manduessedo, m.p. xvi. ; and 
Venonius, m.p., xii.,' and no other early and authoritative 
account is given. The relics found from time to time have 
been few and unimportant, and no traces of Roman 
buildings, or mosaic floors, or public buildings, as at 
Wroxeter and Leicester, and only traces of the famous 
Roman roads. 

SAXON AND DANISH. It is impossible to use the words 
' Anglo-Saxon ' or ' Saxon ' in any very exact or scientific 
way, since critics and historians are still discussing how far 
the ' Angles ' and the ' Saxons ' influenced the history of 
England as to their numbers and importance. It will be 
best, therefore, to use the more comprehensive word 
' Saxon ' to include the general population and the general 
history of England between the departure of the Romans 
and the arrival of the Normans on our shores. This is the 
more necessary in a mere general summary, and especially 
in the consideration of archaeological remains. The 

70 History of Warwickshire. 

British (or Keltic), the Saxons, Angles and the Danes soon 
became irretrievably mixed in Mid-England, and it is diffi- 
cult, if not impossible, to assign to each element its ethno- 
logical value in the complex ' English people/ The com- 
paratively few material remains which have been preserved 
are rarely marked enough in form or character to be 
assigned with certainty ; and the very plausible but 
treacherous temptations to find history in words, and to 
settle historical and ethnological assertions by the muta- 
tions or survivals of words especially as to alleged Keltic 
etymologies invariably end in making confusion more 
confounded, and in leaving doubts and uncertainties more 
marked than ever. In matters strictly archaeological, as to 
material remains, there is far less risk. British and Saxon 
tumuli and barrows and camps can be readily and posi- 
tively distinguished from Roman remains. Saxon and 
British and Roman coins have marked differences. In 
architecture the ' herring-bone ' Saxon work is clearly 
different from Norman ' rubble,' but in minor details, and 
especially those of later dates, it is more difficult to decide 
as to the age and history of the relics of old times. The 
isolated position of Warwickshire, the fact that it was 
really a county to be crossed, rather than a place to dwell 
in, left it for many centuries almost unchanged and un- 
influenced by the busier and more accessible peoples of 
the counties nearer the coasts. It was like a large town, 
famous in old coaching days, but deserted and isolated 
when the nearest railway, some miles away, left it neglected 
and ' out of the world/ Hence, during nearly a thousand 
years, from the landing of the Romans to the coming of 
the Normans, it was but little affected by external events. 
The Saxons and Danes slowly advanced, rather as colonists 
than conquerors, and slowly mingled with the people of 
the woods and forests. Changes of customs occurred 
slowly and silently. The Saxon element pervaded the 
whole district. The Mercian kings had their castles, 

Danish Traces. 71 

palaces and courts. The Heptarchy slowly welded the 
scattered elements together. The arts of peace were 
more favoured than the arts of war. ' The Romans were 
imperial and centralizing, the Saxons agrarian and 
domestic ; the former built and fortified, the latter appro- 
priated and enclosed.' The new element of Christianity 
introduced churches and monasteries, and helped to blend 
the people into a nation with a language and laws which 
have formed the basis of English life and progress for a 
thousand years. 

Saxon remains are rare in Warwickshire, and only a few 
examples of metal-work have been found near Warwick 
some, jewellery discovered in an Anglo-Saxon grave, and 
one of early date ; but many grave-mounds and tumuli 
have never been disturbed at least, in modern times and 
probably important relics may yet be found in some undis- 
turbed grave. Among buildings, however, there are at 
least two with unquestionable Saxon work, but of course 
only fragments of the bases, the superstructure being of 
far later date. The first of these is found at Tamworth 
Castle, forming the base of the long wall leading up to 
the keep. The castle was built by King Alfred's daughter, 
Ethelfleda, circa 913, but the old 'herring-bone' work is 
probably of much earlier date, and part of the original 
fortification. The other example is at Wootton-Wawen, 
or Wood Town, from Saxon wudu, or wud, and tun, 
enclosure or town, and Waga, or Wagen, one of the great 
Saxon lords, who was one of the witnesses to Leofric's 
foundation charter of the monastery at Coventry, circa 1043. 
The tower of this church, up to a height of three-fifths, is 
the oldest part of the church, and certainly of Saxon 
masonry, and the church itself is the only one in Warwick- 
shire in which Saxon work has ever yet been found. 
Saxon burial-places have been found in Warwickshire (as 
part of the Mercian and Mid-Angles' kingdom), at 
Cesterover, Churchover, on the north-east, or Leicestershire 

72 History of Warwickshire. 

border of the county ; and also at Warwick, near the 
castle and the Church of St. Nicholas, but none of any 
historic or artistic value. As there are so many proofs 
of the Saxon people and influence in Warwickshire, more 
relics might be expected, and probably more may be 

The immigrations and presence of the Danes are but 
little marked in Warwickshire, but generally the Danes 
seem to have left few remains in Mid-England. There is 
a popular belief that while they certainly advanced into 
Warwickshire, it was practically their boundary, as the 
affix 'by' (as in Rugby), and said to be Danish, is rarely 
found south of that ancient town. Their camps were 
supposed to be circular or oval, but it would be difficult 
to distinguish them from old British camps (which are 
numerous in Warwickshire), and probably 'names' are 
the safest guide, as where ' Danes' camp ' and ' Danbury 
camp ' sometimes occur, but no such traces are found in 
Warwickshire. Much, however, may yet be discovered 
by more careful surveys of the numerous woods in many 
parts of the county, which have never been thoroughly 
explored, and in whose untrodden recesses many mounds 
even of prehistoric date may yet be found to reveal 
the secrets of ancient dwellers in the Forest of Arden. 

ANGLO-SAXON AND NORMAN. The later half of the 
tenth and the earlier half of the eleventh centuries 
(966 to 1066) afford but few direct evidences of the 
changes in the condition of England, from the reigns 
of the Anglo-Saxon and Danish kings of the Heptarchy 
to the Battle of Hastings and the beginning of the 
Norman rule. There is, however, a great light thrown 
back on the past by the great survey known as Domes- 
day Book (1083 1086), which gives a graphic picture of 
Anglo-Saxon England a hundred years before. With 
the ever - notable Saxon Chronicle, compiled under 
Alfred (872), but begun at least as early as 849, and 

Norman Survey and Castles. 75 

forming a most valuable historic record, and the terri- 
torial valuation of lands under Edward the Confessor 
(1041), which were afterwards a chief basis of the Norman 
survey in 1083, a curiously careful and detailed summary 
of the ' condition of England ' for more than a century of 
comparative darkness has been preserved. Neither the 
Saxon Chronicle, nor the Edwardian valuation, nor the 
Domesday Book, throw much light on the details most 
interesting in our modern tastes and studies. The Saxon 
Chronicle was chiefly a chronology of historic facts, as 
history was then regarded. The Edwardian survey and 
Domesday Book were principally territorial, chiefly as 
records of landed property for the purposes of taxation; 
but fortunately Domesday Book mentions churches, mills, 
ploughs, oxen, priests, villeins, etc., which materially help 
to form a picture of Saxon England. The details of the 
limits of land and of the various owners, the comparisons 
of the value of land with the estimates of King Edward's 
time, and the numerous minor incidental facts recorded, 
make this famous survey of incalculable value and interest 
in all researches into the history of England from eight 
hundred to nine hundred years ago. As an archaeological 
record, it remains quite unrivalled in the history of Europe, 
and the great treasury of otherwise unrecorded facts. 
' Castles,' says Grose, ' walled with stone, and designed 
for residence as well as defence, were not of earlier days 
than the Conquest,' so that few remains of ' castles ' in 
our modern sense of the word have left any traces. 
Forty-nine castles are mentioned in Domesday Book, 
and only one of them (Arundel Castle) is noticed as 
having existed in Edward the Confessor's time ; but 
Warwick Castle is mentioned, although probably only a 
fortified mound like those at Dudley and Tutbury, and 
similar places in the Midland counties. Forests, parks 
manors, mills, fortified towns, and even vineyards, are 
frequently mentioned, and Warwick Castle, like that of 

74 History of Warwickshire. 

Tamworth, is reputed to have been built by Alfred's 
daughter, Ethelfleda, circa 913. The castle - building 
fashion, however, was the work of Norman influence, and 
necessary to keep the conquered country in subjection, 
and in the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries 
most of the famous English castles were built. 

The Saxon style of architecture was chiefly based on 
Roman example, and in a ruder and rougher style. The 
masonry was irregular 'long and short,' the arches semi- 
circular, and even triangular, the columns low and broad, 
and the sculpture rude in design and unfinished in style. 
The Norman buildings, military as well as ecclesiastical, 
were solid and substantial, but more graceful in form and 
more decorated in style. Many examples of such works 
have been preserved with comparatively few changes down 
to our day. Numerous additions in later fashions have 
been made, but in many of the oldest buildings which have 
escaped the ravages of the 'restorer,' some very fine 
examples of Norman work have been preserved. Even in 
those early times Norman architecture had its ' periods ' 
and ' stages,' described as early, later, and transition, and 
the Warwickshire examples under these headings will be 
worthy of a brief review. Under the 'early Norman ' (1066- 
1087) Wootton-Wawen is the only example, and that only 
as to the later portions of the church, for the larger part of 
the base of the tower is unquestionably Saxon, as already 
shown ; and the ' early Norman ' has long been covered 
with a coat of stucco. Another and very beautiful 
example is the porch of the Priory Church of Kenilworth, 
built by Geoffrey de Clinton in 1122. Of the 'later 
Norman' (1135-1154) there are several examples in 
Warwickshire, as in the beautiful Norman work in the 
little church at Beaudesert or Beldesert (originally 
Donnellie), at Henley-in-Arden, and at Packington Church, 
built by the younger Geoffrey de Clinton in 1150 ; Worm- 
leighton Church, the same donor and date, and also at 

Military and Civil Architecture. 75 

Radford Church, also the gift of De Clinton, and thus 
connected and similar as the work of the same artist. No 
example of ' transition Norman ' has been found, nor of 
the next division the 'early English' (1189-1272) of 
which there are, however, many renowned examples on 
the borders of Warwickshire, at Pershore, Halesowen, 
Dunstable, and the choir of Worcester Cathedral ; nor is 
any Warwickshire example identified of the ' transition 
early English ' (1272-1307), the age of the famous Eleanor 
Crosses and of most of the grandest of English cathedral 
work. The ' Decorated ' (1307-1326) is not represented, nor 
the ' Later' (i 327- 1 377), but the ' Transition ' (i 377- 1 399) has 
still some fine examples in St. Mary's Church at Warwick. 
The 'Perpendicular' style (1319-1547) has the very fine 
example unrepaired and unrestored of St. Mary's Hall 
at Coventry (1401) ; the rich and graceful Beauchamp 
Chapel, and the tomb of Richard de Beauchamp, in St. 
Mary's, Warwick (1439) ; the grand chancel of the church 
of Stratford-on-Avon, built by Thomas Balsall (1463- 
1491), with his own sadly-mutilated monument, next to 
Shakespeare's grave ; the Bablake Hospital, Coventry, 
built by Thomas Bond (1506), and the picturesque and 
secluded old house, Compton Wynyates, near Banbury 
(1520), the home of the Comptons, and famous for its 
siege during the great civil war. 

The dissolution of the minor monasteries by Henry VIII. 
soon led to the destruction, or at least the desecration, of 
many fine old buildings in Warwickshire, but some still 
remain, more or less ' restored.' As most of these were 
founded in the period under consideration, some notes on 
them are necessary as to their existence, date, and fate. 
Alcester Abbey (Ralph Boteler, of Oversley, 1154) has 
few traces left. Coventry Cathedral and the Priory of St. 
Mary's (founded by Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his wife, 
Godiva, 1043), are represented by little more than founda- 
tion walls. Henwood (formerly Estwell) Nunnery (founded 

76 History of Warwickshire. 

by Kettleberne, Lord of Langdon, about 1154) has but few 
traces of its site. Pinley Priory, or Nunnery (Robert de 
Pillardinton, circa 1135), near Henley-in-Arden, has only 
some walls left. Polesworth Nunnery, near Tamworth 
(founded by King Egbert in the ninth century), is now a 
picturesque half-ruin, with some rooms devoted to baser 
purposes ; and Wroxall Priory (founded by Hugh de 
Hatton, 1141, in accordance with the legend already 
described, has the principal lines of its buildings left 
standing, and its chapel restored beyond the recognition of 
Sir Christopher Wren, to whom it once belonged, and who 
left the ruins merely as he found them), complete the list 
of the Benedictine monasteries. The Cluniacs had no 
house in Warwickshire, but one at Dudley, near Birming- 
ham, founded by Gervase Paganell, in or before 1161, 
and of which some ruins remain. The Cistercians had 
Merevale Abbey, near Atherstone, founded by Robert, 
Earl of Ferrers, in 1 148, and the church still remains for 
services, and with some fine fragments of old glass in its 
ancient windows ; also Stoneleigh Priory, near Kenilworth, 
founded by Henry II. in 1154, and with the basement 
story and the gatehouse, well preserved by Lord Leigh, 
but the rest of the priory was long since removed or covered 
by a mansion of the Georgian style. 

The Carthusians had St. Anne's Monastery at Coventry 
(founded by Lord Zouch in 1381, and Richard II. laid the 
first stone in 1385), which retains many of its old features, 
although greatly changed. The Austin (or Augustine) 
Canons held the Priory of Kenilworth (afterwards an 
abbey), founded by Geoffrey de Clinton, area 1122, and 
also Maxtoke Priory (founded by Sir William de Clinton 
in 1336), and a large part of whose fine ruins still remains; 
and also the St. Sepulchre Priory at Warwick, founded by 
Henry de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick, before 1135, and 
with some of its original rooms little changed since the 
Dissolution. One of the ' preceptories ' of the Knights 

Early Chiirches. 77 

Templars passed to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John 
of Jerusalem, which Order was founded by Jordan Briset 
in noo, and this is at Temple-Balsall (or Balsall Temple), 
near Knowle. The church (one large interior without 
aisles or columns) is in singularly fine preservation in- 
deed, so little changed that it is generally looked upon as 
recently restored. The neighbouring buildings, used as 
almshouses, are singularly interesting from their old-world 
appearance. Another f preceptory ' is recorded at War- 
wick, but it seems to have disappeared. The Grey or 
Franciscan Friars had a house at Coventry, and a church 
still bears their name. The White Friars, or Carmelites, 
also had a house at Coventry. The Austin Friars, or 
Friars Eremites, had a house at Atherstone ; and the 
Maturins, or Friars of the Holy Trinity, had a cell at 
Thelesford, near Hatton. In addition to these there were 
some houses of minor importance and interest, as, for 
example, the Priory of St. Thomas, in the present centre 
of Birmingham, nearly all traces of which have been lost. 
The names given to some streets and various legal deeds 
show the boundaries of the lands around the Priory ; but, 
although recent rebuildings have opened most of the area, 
the exact site of the building itself still remains doubtful. 
As late as the last century some remains were found 
' carved stones well chiselled,' which William Hutton, the 
amusing historian of Birmingham (who professed to be an 
antiquary), writes down that he used for some cellars, 
etc., without supposing that it was his duty to preserve 
them as relics of a place once famous in the history of the 
town of his adoption. 

The MILITARY ARCHITECTURAL remains in Warwick- 
shire are more numerous and remarkable as to antiquity 
and interest than is generally supposed. Not only castles 
of great size and importance, but fortified houses are 
numerous, and deserve some record. Many are singularly 
picturesque, as well as historically interesting ; and some, 

78 History of Warwickshire. 

like Warwick Castle, have seen so many changes that they 
may be accepted as practically the history of the county in 
stone. During the reign of Stephen (1135-1154) so many 
castles had been built by the Normans who had followed 
the fortunes of William that 1,150 were destroyed by 
Stephen's successor, Henry II. (1154-1189), and after his 
reign no castle could be built and no house fortified with- 
out a license to ' crenellate,' or fortify, where necessary. 
This precaution against the increasing power of the barons 
and others was also recognised in later times by inquisitions 
under Edward III. and Henry VIII., and as to the demoli- 
tion of many by the Parliament under Cromwell. Castle- 
building had, indeed, become a great and progressive art, 
the history of which (as given in Mr. C. F. Clarke's two 
volumes on English castles, with numerous plans and 
views) is singularly interesting, and an important and 
valuable contribution to English history. 

Castles may be generally classed under four descriptions : 
(i) Norman castles, mostly built on a mound, and being one 
large ' keep ' or tower, chiefly square, and often popularly 
called a * Caesar's tower/ with only one entrance, defended 
by one portcullis, and various other means of defence from 
the upper stones. (2) Edwardian castles, principally built 
in the reign of Edward I., and having more than one tower, 
with overhanging turrets and one large hall, and more 
numerous portcullises to the entrances. (3) Palatial castles, 
where still more numerous rooms were provided for resi- 
dence, while full protection was secured against any sudden 
attack, or even any prolonged siege ; and of this class 
Warwick Castle formed one of the best examples in the 
fourteenth century. (4) Castellated mansions, in which 
more peaceful times allowed the residence to predominate 
over the fortress, and yet to be ready for defence in case of 
need. These four classes of castles were necessarily modified 
according to local circumstances, and were all more or less 
secure until the invention and improvements of artillery 

Kenilworth Castle. 79 

had made even the stoutest stone walls insecure against a 

The principal castles in Warwickshire may thus be 
described from Mr. Henry Godwin's 'Archaeologist's 
Handbook,' from which excellent summary most of the 
facts in the descriptions are derived. Kenilworth neces- 
sarily comes first, from Mr. Godwin's brief description, 
but the elaborate history in the handsome and fully illus- 
trated quarto of the Rev. E. H. Knowles gives a mass of 
most interesting details, derived from several years' resi- 
dence at Kenilworth, and long and patient researches 
among old records. 

' Kenilworth Castle was built by Geoffrey de Clinton, circa 1120, with 
walls of the tower 16 feet thick. It was enlarged and fortified by Simon 
de Montfort, ante 1265, and again enlarged by Edward III., and with 
many additions by John of Gaunt between 1340 and 1399. The gate- 
house gallery and two towers were added by the Earl of Leicester be- 
tween 1563 and 1588. The Castle was sold by the founder's grandson 
to Henry III., who gave it as a marriage-portion with his sister Eleanor. 
Montfort's son surrendered it, compelled by famine, to Edward I., by 
whom it was given to Edmund, Earl of Leicester, on which occasion 
the " Dictum de Kenilworth " was enacted. Edmund Earl of Leicester 
held a tournament in it, which was attended by one hundred ladies and 
knights, in 1268. Edward II. was confined here previous to his re- 
moval to Berkley in 1326. On John of Gaunt's son becoming king 
the Castle became Crown property in 1399. It was given up by 
Elizabeth to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who magnificently 
entertained her and her court for seventeen days in 1 562. Cromwell 
took possession of it and gave it up to his soldiers to pillage and 
destroy in 1646.' 

The castle and lands afterwards passed- into the hands 
of the Hyde family, and have been inherited by the present 
Earl of Clarendon, who has always reverently preserved,, 
without attempting to restore, the ruins. Even in their 
present dilapidated state they are wonderfully interesting 
and charmingly picturesque. The Norman tower is almost 
unchanged, except that its narrow * lights ' were made into 
windows centuries ago. The interior has been cleared of 
rubbish, and the old well of the Norman garrison opened. 

8o History of Warwickshire. 

The roof and the floors are long ago gone, but the massive 
walls remain unshaken, and the interior of a Norman 
fortress can be fully understood from the walls and 
* oeillets ' which remain. The magnificent John of Gaunt 
' great hall ' is floorless, but its grand proportions can be 
fully realized ; and the Leicester buildings, although mere 
ruins, recall the scenes which the ' favourite ' Leicester 
presented to his Queen. One romance of that period, 
immortalized by Sir Walter Scott, must be dispelled. His 
' Amy Robsart ' never did and never could have stood 
within those walls to meet Leicester and the Queen. The 
story must remain a romance, for all the facts of history 
are against it in all its details. * The tall old gentleman 
who leaned on his stick, and asked all sorts of questions 
about the ruins,' was well remembered by the old custodian 
of the grounds and castle, who died a few years ago, and 
the ' Wizard of the North ' went back to Scotland and 
gave the world the pathetic story of poor Amy Robsart, 
and cast a glamour of romance over the old crumbling 
walls of Kenilworth and the visit of * good Queen Bess.' 

WARWICK CASTLE is only six miles from Kenilworth, 
from the walls of which St. Mary's Church at Warwick 
may be seen. If it has not the picturesqueness and 
romance of Kenilworth, it has more real history and more 
striking attractions, for it is not a ruin, but in perhaps a 
fuller splendour than in any of its ancient days. It is 
traditionally said to have been built by Alfred's daughter 
Ethelfleda ; but if this is doubtful, it may certainly claim 
the greater distinction of having been originally an old 
British fort overhanging the Avon, far below the ancient 
mound and the rock on which the present castle stands. 
Whatever the first castle may have been, it was ' rebuilt or 
enlarged by Edward the Confessor and by William 
the Conqueror. Parts of the walls were pulled down in 
1265, but much was rebuilt, and Guy's Tower erected by 
Guy de Beauchamp, afterwards Earl of Warwick, in 1394. 

Warwick Castle. 81 

It passed, by the marriage of Ann, daughter of Warwick, 

the king-maker, to the Duke of Clarence, by the judicial 

murder of whose son it vested in the Crown. Edward VI. 

granted it to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and James 

I. to Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, and it was visited by 

Queen Elizabeth in 1572.' Nearly every part of the castle 

has some special interest. The entrance gate, only a few 

years ago, had some of the hooks from which wool-sacks 

were said to have been suspended to protect the wall from 

attacks during the great Civil War. The porter's lodge 

used to contain the marvellous relics of the great giant 

Guy and his armour, and of the Great Cow of Dunsmore 

Heath, which, however, have now been removed, as the tales 

of their genuineness have long been disbelieved. The great 

inner gateway, with its double portcullis and machicolated 

tower, is an excellent object-lesson of the art of war four 

centuries ago. The courtyard, with the Guy Tower, the 

old grassy mound, the splendid Great Hall and series of 

state-rooms, with their numerous rich and rare treasures, 

and the fine view over the cedars on to the broken bridge, 

and the Avon far below, are too well known to need any 

further description. The great park sloping down to the 

Avon, the conservatory with the far-famed vase from 

Tivoli, are all well known, and all help to make a visit to 

Warwick Castle one of the pleasantest of the memories of 

travel. Warwickshire may well be proud of having 

amongst its attractions a place so famous and so fully 

illustrating the history of England for so many centuries. 

MAXTOKE CASTLE is another fine example of the 
Edwardian castles, and from its secluded situation is com- 
paratively little known. It was built by William de 
Clinton, at the end of the fourteenth century, in the reign 
of Edward III., and remained as the seat of that powerful 
family till the sixteenth year of Henry IV., when Sir 
William de Clinton exchanged it with Humphrey, Earl of 
Stafford, afterwards Duke of Buckingham. In 1483 his 


t , 

82 History of Warwickshire. 

grandson was attainted and executed, and the castle was 
committed to an officer appointed by the Crown. Richard 
III. visited this castle on his way to oppose the Earl of 
Richmond at Bosworth Field, and ordered all the inner 
fittings of Kenilworth Castle to be taken to Maxtoke ; but 
as he lost his life at Bosworth, this order was not carried 
out ; and Henry VII. granted the castle to William 
Compton and his heirs, and the family in 39 Elizabeth 
disposed of the castle and lands to the Lord Keeper 
Egerton, who soon after sold the place to Thomas Dilke, 
Esq., in whose family it still remains. The castle has 
remained almost unchanged externally, but the interior has 
been modernized from time to time. Some of the old 
rooms still remain a noble hall, a dining-room with carved 
door and chimney, a spacious kitchen and a fine chapel. 
The walls of the Great Court still show the old means of 
defence, and the * casernes ' for the soldiers and the rooms 
of the two principal towers have suffered scarcely any 
change. The exterior of the castle is singularly picturesque. 
A broad moat still surrounds the outer walls. The one 
entrance is between two lofty hexagonal towers, and 
through a venerable gate-house with double gates ; and the 
line of wall all round is unbroken, except by four low 
towers and battlements, and the gables of the later 
buildings in the Great Court. The form of the mural 
enclosure is that of a parallelogram, with hexagonal 
towers at each corner, and the gateway is between the two 
principal towers, with lofty machicolations for defence. 
The old drawbridge has long ago been replaced by a stone 
bridge, but the wrought-iron gates remain almost unaltered 
since they were erected (1444-59) by Humphrey, Duke 
of Buckingham, and are still covered with plates of iron, 
with his arms embossed on the plates. The castle stands 
in a fine park, on so low a level among the trees that it is 
almost hidden, except from a footpath through the park, 
from Coleshill, two miles away. 

Tamworth Castle. 83 

TAMWORTH CASTLE, another example with compara- 
tively few changes, stands on a lofty mound by the side of 
the Tame, from which the town takes its name. In pre- 
historic times it must have been an important fort British 
or Keltic and was later a Mercian palace and fortress, 
between the Anker and the Tame. Tradition reports that 
the castle and a large part of the town, after the ravages of 
the Danes, were rebuilt in the tenth century by Ethelfleda, 
the daughter of Alfred. After the Conquest it was given to 
Robert Marmion, in whose line it remained till 20 Edward L, 
when it passed by marriage to William Mortein, and after- 
wards to the Freville, Ferrers, and Compton families. The 
castle as it now remains is very picturesque, a solid square 
low block rising from the trees and overlooking the two 
rivers and extensive views. A winding carriage-road leads 
up to the great entrance, and to the large old rooms, a 
great hall, kitchen, and other rooms almost unchanged 
except by modern furniture and subdivision of larger rooms. 
A narrow stone staircase leads to the exterior of the tower. 
The whole building is extremely interesting as contrasted 
with the larger areas of Warwick; Kenilworth, and Maxtoke. 
It is practically a fortified c keep,' and might be ranged as 
a ' transition ' example between the Norman keep and 
the Edwardian castle. It is a block of building with no 
surroundings and no great inner court. The height of the 
mound, the junction of the two rivers, and the strength of 
the walls, made it a great ' stronghold ' against the attacks 
of eight centuries ago. A small park now still surrounds 
the castle, and probably marks the boundaries of an old 
moat, or other line of defence, for Dugdale mentions the 
remains, in his time, of a trench forty-five feet wide, which, 
together with the two rivers, formed the protection of the 
castle and part of the town. 

Other castles of minor importance are found in War- 
wickshire, which have, however, considerable interest, as 
some of them have been little altered by the ravages of 


84 History of Warwickshire. 

time or ' restoration.' One of the best preserved is that 
of Astley, near Nuneaton, which is an example of a small 
castle, or fortified manor-house, where the exterior walls 
are quite unbroken, and a moat surrounds the whole. The 
only entrance is over a bridge originally a drawbridge 
to a large open courtyard, with the house-windows looking 
on it, and only some small later windows looking over the 
moat. The exact date of this castle is uncertain, but the 
moat and the main buildings are probably of the thirteenth 
or fourteenth century, when the family of Astley held 
the manor ; and one of them Sir Thomas de Astley 
(Edward III.) built the collegiate church, which was 
pulled down, but partially rebuilt, in 1600. The present 
castle is singularly picturesque, with its parterre of flowers 
and its ivy-covered old gray walls. It was probably dis- 
mantled in Mary's time, when the Duke of Suffolk, the 
father of Lady Jane Grey, held it. In the woods near he 
was concealed for some time, but betrayed by a keeper 
(or the keeper's dog), and taken to London, where he was 
beheaded on Tower Hill. His portrait and a table of his 
are still preserved as ' heirlooms ' in the Newdigate family, 
to whom the Astley estates came by exchange about a 
century ago. Caludon Castle, near Coventry, was another 
example of a similar building of the same period, but only 
fragments of the ruins and of the area of the moat remain. 
The place has, however, some historic as well as archaeo- 
logical interest, since from its walls Thomas Mowbray, 
Duke of Norfolk, went forth to meet the Duke of Hereford 
at Gosford Green, Coventry, in moital combat, as described 
in Shakespeare's 'Richard II.' (act i., scene 3). Similar 
ruins of a castle of the same style and date remain at 
Fillonghley, and are probably as early as the reign of 
Stephen. At Brandon also all near Coventry some 
grassy mounds still show the lines of a larger castle, 
destroyed by the adherents of Simon de Montfort, Earl of 
Leicester, \\hen its owner, John de Verdon, raised troops 

Licenses to l Crenellated 85 

to support Henry III. against the De Montfort 'rebels.' 
The castle was probably rebuilt afterwards by Theobald 
de Verdon, but only a few walls and mounds now mark 
the site. At Hartshill, near Atherstone, another castle 
existed, and some embattled walls were extant in Dug- 
dale's time ; only a few vestiges of which may still be seen. 
The history of most of these places is obscure, but the 
remains are numerous enough to have considerable interest, 
and if carefully surveyed, planned, and described, the 
results would throw much light on the mediaeval history 
of the county, which has never yet had the full research 
which it deserves and would repay. 

Licenses to ' crenellate ' (or fortify) between the years 
1256 and 1478 are given in Godwin's * Archaeologist's 
Handbook/ and are extremely valuable as records not 
merely of dates of 'crenellation,' but of facts long for- 
gotten, since in some cases all traces of the buildings have 
disappeared. These royal licenses to fortify were not only 
given to owners of secular buildings, but even for the pro- 
tection of abbeys and other ecclesiastical buildings, al- 
though these were supposed to be protected by their 
sacred purposes. One example is very curious, for in 
31 Edward I. Walter de Langdon, Bishop of Coventry 
and Lichfield, seems to have possessed the royal power 
of licensing to ' crenellate,' and granted such license to 
Beaudesert (or Donnelei), near Henley-in-Arden, one of 
the small mound-castles, and apparently for other places : 
1 Domos per omnia loca quae idem episcopus habet in 
Anglia/ etc. Caludon, near Coventry, ' manerium suum,' 
was fortified by John de Segrave in 33 Edward I. (1358) ; 
Coventry, as to the city (' civitatem '), rather than a castle, 
by the ' mayor and men of honour ' (' Maior Ballioi et 
probi homines') in 1362 and again in 1364; Astley 
(Esteleye), * domum suum,' by Warren de Basingburne in 
1265; Fillongley (Filumgeleye), 'manerium suum et 
villam,' by John de Hastings in 1300; Langley (Langele), 

86 History of Warwickshire. 

by Edward de Hereforde in 1340; Maxtoke (or Mak- 
stoke), by William de Clinton in 1342 ; Ragley (Ragele), 
^domum super janua manerii sui,' by John Rous in 1381 ; 
while Hugh le Despencer, who had various lands and 
manors in Warwickshire, claimed the more general power 
to fortify 'omnes domos et cameras in quibuscunque 
maneriis suis in regno nostro,' under 5 Edward II. (1330). 
FORTIFIED MANOR-HOUSES became, in more peaceful 
times, houses for residence, in which the moat was the prin- 
cipal feature which remained of the old troublous times. 
The buildings became more decorative in style, and more like 
modern mansions. One of the most remarkable of these in 
Warwickshire, if not in all England, is COMPTON WYNYATES 
House in the south corner of the county, and under the 
shadow of the Edge Hill cliffs. Its old name was Compton- 
in-the-Hole, and the house is hidden among the trees of the 
' comb ' or hollow in which it stands, and can scarcely be 
seen in summer even from the highroad close by. It is a 
house of the early years of the sixteenth century, circa 1519, 
and was built by Sir William Compton, to whose family 
the lands have belonged from 7 Edward I. (1278). The 
materials are said to have been removed from the old 
castle (or manor-house) of Fulbrook. Leave was gained to 
enclose 2,000 acres of land and woods for a park, n 
Henry VIII. (1519). The house has remained almost un- 
altered to the present day, and is in the hands of the 
Compton family still. It is a marvellous and artistic com- 
bination of stone, wood, and brick. Some of the more 
important parts are stone ; others are stone and brick, and 
others are brick and old oak timbers in most picturesque 
arrangement. Most of the chimneys are of brick, moulded 
and built up into most artistic forms. A grand porch with 
bullet-battered gate a record of the Civil War siege, 
when the house was garrisoned for the Parliament leads 
into a noble quadrangle, around which the principal rooms 
are built. A great hall, of grand proportions, with a min- 

Compton Wynyates House. 87 

strels' gallery, reached by solid oak steps, is wainscoted 
with oak and very charming carved work. A long gallery 
is also panelled, with hiding-places behind the panels, and 
over its ceiling soldiers' 'casernes' are formed under its 
tiles. The house contains ninety rooms, mostly unaltered 
tilj some twenty years ago, when the house, which had been 
unoccupied for several generations, was repaired (not 
restored) by Mr. Digby Wyatt. The ancient chapel has long 
been unused, but much of its fine old oak carving remains 
more or less in ruin. In the highest room in the great 
tower is another chapel of small size, and with three separate, 
and secret, staircases, which doubtless suggest the changes 
of religion from the 'old' to the 'new.' Almost every part 
of the house has some strange interest from its quaintness, 
and picturesqueness, and old-world look. Over the principal 
porch the royal arms, surmounted by a crown, are placed, 
supported by a greyhound and a griffin, and a rose and 
crown. The ancient window, of rare workmanship, was 
destroyed during the Civil War troubles, and also the little 
church near the house, and the monuments of the dead were 
broken up or damaged so that scarcely a wreck remains. 
Only a small part of the moat has been preserved. After 
the mansion was finished, Henry VIII. was a guest for 
several days. Oliver Cromwell himself is said to have fired 
a few shots at the mansion in 1646. Bishop Compton was 
born in the house in 1632. There is considerable doubt as 
to the origin and meaning of the word ' Wyngates,' and 
even as to the spelling, but the original license is said 
to give 'Vinegates' or 'Vineyard' some affix being 
needful to distinguish the place from the ' Long,' * Murdack,' 
and ' Scorfen ' Comptons in the same county. Although 
Compton Wynyates has so many attractions, archaeological 
architectural, historical, and artistic, it was almost wholly 
unknown till the late William Howitt included it among 
the * Remarkable Places ' which he visited some forty years 
ago. Since then all lovers of old places and picturesque re- 

88 History of Warwickshire. 

mains have delighted to procure leave to see one of the 
historic treasures of Warwickshire. 

BADDESLEY CLINTON, another relic of the famous 
Norman family who 'came over with the Conqueror,' as 
' Renegalds,' and who assumed the { de Clinton/ has almost 
an equal interest with Compton Wynyates as an 'old 
moated grange.' It lies near Knowle and Kingswood, in a 
large secluded park, and has, happily, had no great alter- 
ations, internal or external, for several centuries. It is an 
old stone house, surrounded by a moat, over which a bridge 
has replaced an ancient drawbridge, and leads to a fine em- 
battled gateway and a small but charming court, with beds 
of flowers, old half-timber gables, and one side of the quad- 
rangle open to the moat. The interior of the hall has a 
delightful old-world look. Panelled walls and ceilings, old 
furniture, quaint old glass and china, tapestry hangings, 
old oak stairs, low long galleries, pleasant peeps through 
pretty windows, heraldic arms emblazoned in colours on the 
glass, or painted on the panels, all conspire to revive the 
life and surroundings of centuries ago. The general struc- 
ture is of the latter half of the fifteenth century, and some 
of the gables, seen only from the inner court on one side of 
the moat, are of later date, perhaps the middle of the 
sixteenth century, while the latest portions of the rooms, as 
to furniture, is probably two centuries old. In the reign of 
Henry IV. (1399-1412) the manor was bought by John 
Brome (and the house is possibly as old as that date), and 
afterwards, in 1517, passed by marriage to the Ferrars (or 
Ferrers) family, with whom it remains. The hall is a most 
interesting relic of the old moated-house period as to its 
external appearance, and as it has been held so long by 
one family, and has had so few internal changes as to 
structure or furniture, it is famous as one of the sights of 
Warwickshire by all who have the good fortune to enter 
its fortalice-gate. 

COMBE ABBEY is another example ; a double attraction, 

Combe Abbey. 89 

as an old mansion built on the site of an older monastery, 
and having also some historical interest. In the reign 
of Stephen (1135-1153) a monastery was built for Cistercian 
monks by Richard de Camville, and many privileges 
were granted and many benefactions given, but four 
hundred years later the monastery was dissolved by 
Henry VIII. as one of the minor foundations, its revenue 
being 302 153. 3d. according to Dugdale, but ^303 os. 5d. 
according to Speed. Edward VI. granted the site to John 
Dudley, Earl of Warwick, after whose attainder it was 
leased to Robert Kelway, surveyor of the court of wards 
and liveries, and by his daughter's marriage next passed to 
John, afterwards Lord Harrington. On the death of his 
son it passed to Lucy, Countess of Bedford, through whose 
extravagance it was sold to Sir William Craven, Knt 
Lord Harrington had the good taste to preserve the ancient 
cloisters and some other parts of the old foundation. 
William, Lord Craven, collected a fine gallery of portraits, 
and took great interest in Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, 
eldest daughter of James I., to whom he devoted his life 
and a large part of his fortune, and who left him her 
gallery of pictures as the reward of his romantic gallantry. 
Elizabeth was at Combe Abbey when the Gunpowder Plot 
was formed, and the conspirators proposed to seize her to 
carry her off to London to represent the Roman Catholics, 
and to marry her to some Roman Catholic peer. 

Many other moated houses, generally with the moats 
drained or filled up and only partially visible, are found in 
all parts of Warwickshire, but few, if any, have any historic 
interest, except for their picturesqueness as ' survivals ' of 
old times. Clopton House, near Stratford, and Bushwood 
and other places, had or have still some historic interest. 
In many cases the moats only remain as landmarks, as, 
for example, the site of Park Hall, near Castle Bromwich, 
and Birmingham, whose grassy lines are the onlymemorials 
of the family of the Ardens, who lived there for three hundred 

9<D History of Warwickshire. 

years. Almost in the middle of the great town of Birming- 
ham two moats remained till about seventy years ago, one 
of them around the old half-timber house, the rectory of 
St. Martin's Church, and the other (near that church) which 
surrounded the old home of the Lords of Birmingham 
six hundred years ago. 

SEPULCHRAL MONUMENTS are numerous in Warwick- 
shire, and are often important and interesting as memorials 
of history and art. Fortunately more care has been given 
to their preservation during the last thirty or forty years. 
Mr. Matthew Holbeche Bloxam was among the first to call 
attention to their merit and value, and nearly sixty years 
ago the publication of his invaluable * Gothic Ecclesiastical 
Architecture ' greatly helped to form the fashion and to 
cultivate the taste for the study of the remains which 
bigotry and ignorance and carelessness have left us. His 
life-long studies and sketches and notes have given us 
excellent records, and a brief account of these, almost in 
his own words, will have a special value. 

The earliest monument in Warwickshire is the large 
unlettered monolith known as the King's Stone, stand- 
ing near the Rollright Circle, with a cromlech close by on 
the southern boundary of the county. Mr. Bloxam believed 
this to be one of the Maen Hir, high or pillar stones found 
in Wales, the Isle of Man, and many other places the 
earliest type of British sepulchral memorials, and probably 
the lineal descendant of the ' pillar over the grave ' of 
Rachel which Jacob placed in the patriarchal days. Only 
one Roman tomb or monument has been found in Warwick- 
shire, and that the sarcophagus, now in the museum at 
Warwick, which was found near the Roman Road at 
Alcester. ' It is in the shape of a parallelogram, rudely 
worked, with a plain slab cover, and though uninscribed, it 
originally stood, I have little doubt, above ground' a road- 
side memorial, probably like those on the Appian Way, 
near Rome. No Anglo-Saxon monument has been found, 

Anglo-Saxon Graves. 91 

but Roman and Anglo-Saxon relics have been unearthed at 
and near Princethorpeand the Fosse-Way, and Anglo-Saxon 
remains have been found at Marton, Alcester, Chesterton, 
and an Anglo-Saxon burial-place was disturbed forty years 
ago between Pilgrim's Low and Bensford Bridge, with a 
number of interments in regular order, a short distance 
below the surface. Only one sepulchral urn was found, 
but that was clearly Anglo-Saxon. Near it were two 
drinking-cups of rude, imperfectly-baked pottery, an iron 
sword, and a spear-head with a portion of the wood in the 
socket. 'With other male interments were found the 
bosses or umbos of shields and spear-heads ; with female 
interments were found fibulae (of the cross-bow shape, and 
circular) of bronze, clasps of silver, tweezers, beads, and 
other articles,' which have been carefully preserved at 
Marton, near Rugby. The railway cutting brought to light 
another Anglo-Saxon burial-place with sepulchral urns, 
one of the rare * syphated or saucer-shaped ' fibulae, frag- 
ments of iron weapons, and the iron umbo of an Anglo- 
Saxon shield. 

Norman remains are quite unknown in Warwickshire, 
but one or two plain 'ridge-shape or prismatic' coffin- 
stones were found some years ago in the cemetery-garth or 
burial-ground of the Priory at Kenil worth, but these were 
more probably Anglo-Norman that is, of the twelfth 
century. Norman and Saxon remains, non-sepulchral, are 
often found in rebuilding old churches and old buildings 
generally, and at any time slabs of Norman or Anglo- 
Saxon work may be found if proper inquiries are made 
before such stones are broken up, or buried again in founda- 
tions or inside walls. 

The earliest monuments known in Warwickshire are 
of the thirteenth century, and the oldest and finest is that 
recumbent but much-mutilated effigy of a knight, formerly 
in the abbey church of Merevale, near Atherstone. This 
effigy is specially interesting as that of William, fourth Earl 

9 2 History of Warwickshire. 

Ferrers, circa 1244, and closely resembling the two oldest 
effigies in the Temple Church, London. The effigy, although 
little more than a torso, is valuable as a record of the 
defensive armour worn by knights in the great Barons' 

The remote church of Avon Dassett, on the slope of the 
Edge Hill range, has a rare effigy of great interest, which 
was ' discovered ' by Mr. Bloxam himself, and its fame 
secured. It represents a Deacon in a recumbent effigy, 
and is probably unique, and has not only monumental, but 
ecclesiological interest. ' The material is dark-coloured 
forest marble, and the effigy is placed beneath a horizontal 
canopy composed of a semicircular arch with the repre- 
sentations of buildings above, and this canopy is supported 
by shafts with bell-shaped caps running up the sides of the 
tomb/ The vestments are especially interesting, and differ 
materially from those on the only other known effigy of a 
deacon, at Furness Abbey. The effigy is sculptured in low- 
relief, and is of the thirteenth century. The monument is 
not even mentioned by Sir William Dugdale, and his con- 
tinuator, Dr. Thomas, dismisses it in a few words as 
representing a priest with his shaven crown, but no in- 
scription on it a remarkable example of want of knowledge 
of ecclesiastical art, even so lately as a century and a half 
ago. Fortunately the interest of the monument will have 
now secured it from any negligence, and Mr. Bloxam 
immediately had careful drawings and measurements made 
of his important discovery of so valuable a work of Church 

In Newton Regis Church there is a very fine low-relief 
slab of a priest of the fourteenth century, and others at 
Hillmorton, Stoneleigh, and Kineton. Another remarkable 
effigy of an ecclesiastic is preserved in St. Martin's Church, 
Birmingham, although somewhat damaged in the shame- 
fully ' Gothic ' ravages of a hundred years ago. This also 
has very special interest and value as a record of the dress 

Sepulchral Monuments. 93 

of the clergy of the fifteenth century. Only one episcopal 
effigy is to be found in Warwickshire, that of John Vesey 
(or Harman), a native of Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, 
once Bishop of Exeter, and a munificent benefactor to his 
native town. Mr. Bloxam believes that this effigy was 
executed in the life-time of the Bishop, and long before his 
death, for it represents a man of middle age, and the Bishop 
died aged 103 in 1555. A fourteenth century effigy of an 
Abbess is another important memorial, and is preserved in 
the Priory of Polesworth, near Tamworth. It represents a 
Benedictine nun, and is curious, and probably unique. 

All through Warwickshire there are ' numerous effigies 
scarcely two alike of laymen, frankleins, lords of manors, etc., 
but neither warriors nor ecclesiastics. These, as a class, 
have never been treated of, and so little have they been 
understood that they have frequently been .pronounced to 
be monks.' One of them is in Cherrington Church, in the 
south-west of the county. The whole monument, canopy 
as well as effigy, is remarkably interesting, and the effigy 
more especially as representing the civil costume or ordinary 
dress of a franklein, or lord of the manor, or squire of a 
parish in the fourteenth century. The very name of the 
original of this recumbent effigy is unknown. The monu- 
ment is not even mentioned by Dugdale or Dr. Thomas,, 
but Mr. Bloxam had little doubt that it represents William 
Lucy, born in 1277, Knight of the Shire in five Parliaments, 
in the reign of Edward II., and who was living in 1326.1 
Mr. Bloxam's elaborate description fully justifies his remark 
that ' it is one of the most interesting monuments he has 
ever met with.' Among other sculptured effigies of laymen 
are : a mutilated fourteenth - century work in Wolston 
Church; one of Henry VII. 's reign in St. Michael's, 
Coventry ; the fine effigy of Shakespeare's friend John 
Combe, in Stratford-on-Avon Church ; and one of 1618 to 
William Clarke, in Tysoe Church which is interesting as 
showing the dress of Shakespeare's later days who out- 

94 History of Warwickshire. 

lived his own countyman two years. This dress is worth 
describing: 'William Clarke is represented bare-headed, 
with a moustache and spade-beard ; a short ruff round the 
neck, a doublet, buttoned in front and belted round the waist, 
with close sleeves cuffed at the wrists, trunk-hose, stockings 
and shoes, and the hands bare' surely Shakespeare in his 
very ' habit as he lived ' and died, two years before. 

Effigies of knights in armour are numerous in Warwick- 
shire, and there are two singularly fine examples of the four- 
teenth century in Coleshill Church. In Hillmorton Church 
is a curious and much-mutilated figure of a man in armour, 
which Hollar engraved very inaccurately, and which Dugdale 
assigned to Sir Thomas de Astley, who died in 1 285, but which 
Mr. Bloxam, with far more knowledge and experience than 
Dugdale could have had, assigns to Thomas de Astley, who, 
in the 9th of Edward III., AD. 1336, * had a special patent 
exempting him from knighthood.' Effigies in armour of the 
fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries are common, 
and only one needs special mention, that in Radway 
Church, a fine but shockingly-mutilated recumbent figure 
of Captain Kingmill, who was killed in the Battle of Edge 
Hill in 1642. The monument is a curious example of art 
in the seventeenth century. It was erected by the mother 
in 1678, but one part of the dress is of 1642, another 
of 1678, and another of the fashion of James I. (1602-24). 
One effigy of a Judge exists in Middleton Church, com- 
memorating Sir Richard Bingham, Knt, of the Court of 
King's Bench, who died in 1476, and who is represented in 
his judicial robes, and with his * lady ' in a graceful dress. 
Among the effigies of ladies is a fine example in Hillmorton 
Church, in memory of Dame Margaret de Astley, circa 
1353, which represents her 'in a wimple and veil, the latter 
falling in folds on the shoulder, in a gown with ample 
skirts, belted round the waist, and a mantle attached in 
front by a cordon : the sl eves of the gown are close-fitting, 
and the hands are conjoined on the breast and upraised, 

Sepulchral Brasses. 95 

and at the feet are two whelps/ the figure being surmounted 
by a rich decorative canopy, in the best style of fourteenth- 
century art. The decadence of art, from the graceful 
recumbent memorials of the fourteenth century to the pert, 
self-complacent, erect figures and hideous busts of the last 
century, need not be illustrated by examples. The earliest 
examples of the seventeenth century are those of Shake- 
speare, a bust to the waist (in sad contrast to the recumbent 
effigy of his friend John Combe), and others in Stratford 
and other churches. The monuments to ladies became 
strange records of the changes of fashions, and the brief 
prayers for mercy and forgiveness were followed by long 
laudatory epitaphs on the dead in the Jacobean, Eliza- 
bethan, and Georgian days. 

The SEPULCHRAL BRASSES of Warwickshire are not 
very numerous nor very important, but many of them have 
considerable interest, and those which have survived are 
generally well preserved. Until very recently no attempt 
was made to preserve, or discover, or describe them ; but the 
late Mr. Charles Williams, of Birmingham, gave several 
years of time and labour in order to examine and to get 
rubbings of all he could find, and the result of his long 
studies and researches was embodied in an original, ex- 
haustive and valuable paper, read to the Archaeological 
Section of the Birmingham and Midland Institute on the 
26th of March, 1884. The paper was fully illustrated by 
drawings of ' rubbings,' and included a complete catalogue 
of all known Warwickshire brasses, from which most of the 
following descriptions are derived. 

The origin of monumental brasses has been much 
discussed, and the great authority, Haines, is probably 
right in his theory that they are the ' evolution ' of the 
early incised slabs which were sometimes filled with a dark 
enamel composition, and afterwards with the more solid 
and permanent material known as ' brass.' ' Brasses ' seem 
to have appeared almost simultaneously in England, 

96 History of Warwickshire. 

France, and the Low Countries, and were unknown till the 
thirteenth century, when the fashion soon spread. The 
earliest English ' brass' known is that to Simon de Beau- 
champ, in St. Paul's Church, Bedford, who died before 
1208. The finest known example is that to Sir John 
d'Abernon, of Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, of the year 1277. 
The second is that of Sir Roger Trumpington (Cambridge), 
of 1290, a superb specimen of the new art, and one of the 
finest examples known of any date. The earliest Warwick- 
shire brass is that of a lady, probably of the Astley family, 
and of the year 1400, at Astley, near Nuneaton, remarkable 
for its sideless tunic or cote-hardi (which remained in fashion 
from 1340 to 1450), under which was the kirtle, covered by 
a mantle fastened by a tasselled cord drawn through studs, 
and itself furred and jewelled. The next in date is that of 
Thomas de Beauchamp, in 1491 an Earl of Warwick 
and his wife. The emblems used on brasses form a very 
interesting study, and include symbols of the Trinity, the 
Passion, figures of saints, records of martyrs, badges of 
hbnour, armorial bearings, collars of dignities, suns, roses, 
lions, dogs, chalices, etc. At Coleshill, in Warwickshire, 
are two very remarkable brasses, each representing a 
priest one before and one after the Reformation. The 
first is that of William Abell, vicar, 1500, and is supposed 
to be a work of local art. The second is that of Sir John 
Fenton, vicar, 1 566, and he is represented holding an open 
Bible, with the words ' Verbum Dei.' The first holds a 
chalice and wafer in his right hand, and supports the vase 
of the chalice with his left hand. Both have the prayer, 
' Whose soul God pardon.' Although the changes of 
fashion were few, the varying dresses, especially of ladies, 
generally indicate the period even when the date is not 
given in the inscription. The brasses to men, whether 
clerical or secular, whether of ' gentle blood ' or mere 
merchants or tradesmen, are curiously significant, and often 
quaint, as the latter have generally some symbol to indicate 

Sepulchral Brasses. 97 

their trade. The earlier inscriptions are always in Latin, 
about the end of the fourteenth century often in French ; 
and after Edward VI. the old Gothic square letter 
changed into the Roman round-hand, and the ' Orate pro 
anima,' at the commencement of the inscription, was 
omitted. The variations in the style of armour worn are 
curiously historical and singularly exact, and form a correct 
record of the various changes in the order of date. In the 
earlier brasses there seems to have been no attempt at 
portraiture, but in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
the faces are more individual and the brasses more like 
large engravings in minuteness of detail. 

Warwickshire contains about sixty brasses, distributed 
through forty churches, and may be briefly described in 
chronological order, beginning with Priests. The earliest 
is in the Church of St. Nicholas, at Warwick, and represents 
Robert Willardsey, the first vicar, in 1424. This, curiously, 
was lost, until in 1847 its absence was noted, and it was 
replaced. At Tysoe there is a brass to William Aulding- 
ton, 'parson of Whatcote,' from 1486 to 1511. Another is 
in Great Packington Church, to John Wright, 1597. At 
Barcheston, to Hugh Humphray, 1503 to 1540. At Whit- 
nash, one to Richard Bennett, 1531. At Upton, one to 
Richard Woddomes, * parson, patron, and vossioner of the 
church and parish,' 1587. At Whichford, one to Nicholas 
Ashton, 1582. Brasses to the memory of ladies begin with 
one at Hillmorton, circa 1410, a very fine example, but name 
unknown. At Tysoe are two small brasses, neglected by 
Dugdale and Haines, but curious and interesting, of 1598 
and 1601. At Coleshill, one to Alice Digby, 1506, holding 
a pomander or scent-box in her hand. At Middleton, one 
to a married daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby, 1507. At 
Coventry, in St. Michael's Church, one to Maria Hilton 
and four infant children, 1594, with a pathetic inscription 
and some curious details ; another to Ann Sewell, 1609, 
with remarkable details of dress. At Sutton Coldfield, a 


98 History of Warwickshire. 

figure of Barbara Eliot, wife of the rector, 1606. At Tan- 
worth, one to Margaret Archer, 1614 one of six brasses 
five having disappeared. At Preston Bagot, one to 
Elizabeth Randoll, of which the head is lost, 1606. At 
Meriden, a quaint brass and inscription, with an anagram 
of her name, Elizabeth Rotton, as ' I to a blest throne/ 

The Church of St. Mary, Warwick, has in the Beau- 
champ chapel one of the most magnificent works of art in 
England, the ' herse ' of the great Richard Beauchamp> 
Earl of Warwick, who died at Rouen in 1430, a monument 
beyond all praise ; but there is also a brass to Thomas 
Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and his wife, who died in 
1404, and his Countess in 1406. The brass is a superb 
work of art, and deserves a further description, but it could 
not be appreciated without illustrations. At Wixford is 
one of the finest brasses in Warwickshire, that to Thomas 
de Crewe and Juliana, his wife, a work admirable alike in 
design and execution. Its size is 9 feet by 4 feet, and 
it was erected in his own life-time (in 1611) to the memory 
of his wife, and he died about 1619. The brass is a 
magnificent example of the best period of the art. At 
Merevale is a brass to Robert Lord Ferrers and his wife 
(of Chartley), of the date of 1412 according to Haines, and 
of 1425 according to Boutell. At Wellesbourne-Hastings 
is a neat, small brass to Sir Thomas le Strange, 1426. At 
Hampton, in Arden, one of a civilian of the end of the 
fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century, name 
unknown. At Wootton-Wawen, one to John Harewell 
and a large family, 1503. At Coughton one to Sir George 
Throckmorton, with the dates of day and of year left blank^ 
but of the sixteenth century. At Compton Verney, one of 
Edward Odingsell's (Udyngsale's) wife, 1423, and George 
Verney, 1574. At Aston to Thomas Holte, 1545, and 
Margaret, his wife. At Solihull to William Hill, 1549, and 
his wives, Isabel and Agnes, and another to William 

Sepulchral Memorials. 99 

Mavves, 1610. At Exhall one to John Walsingham and 
his wife, 1566. At Wixford one to Rise Griffin, 1597. In 
St. Mary's, Warwick, are brasses (1573) to Thomas Oken 
and his wife, which were 'rescued from the fire in 1694,' 
and which record the munificence of Oken to the town. 
At Chadshunt to William Askell, 1613. At Trinity 
Church, Coventry, to John Whitehead and his two wives, 
1600. At Haseley a very fine brass to Clement Throck- 
morton, 1573. At Sutton Coldfield one to Jonas Bull, 
1621. At Barcheston one to Flarnochus Colburn, 1664, 
and several others of less interest as to subjects or dates 
which need not be recorded. 

SEPULCHRAL MEMORIALS, originally memorial slabs 
or brasses, or recumbent effigies under canopies, gradually 
expanded into more sumptuous and more monumental 
structures in mortuary chapels, or 'chantries' as they were 
often called. The fourteenth century shows some of the 
earlier examples, as in the monument of Thomas Beau- 
champ, Earl of Warwick, who died in 1370, and whose 
effigy is in St. Mary's Church, Warwick a tomb sur- 
rounded by recessed compartments or niches, in which 
figures of both sexes are placed. In Wolvey Church there 
is an effigy of two figures, Thomas de Wolvey and his 
wife, sculptured on one slab, and belonging to the early 
part of the fourteenth century. The fifteenth century was 
still more remarkable for large and imposing structures 
as sepulchral memorials of the dead, when special altars 
were erected in chantry chapels for prayers for the repose 
of the souls of benefactors, and these chantries or chapels 
soon developed into memorial or mortuary chapels in which 
one or more monuments were placed. These were often 
erected during the life of the donor, and endowed by him 
with the lands to secure the prayers for his soul, and to 
have his memory honoured. 

One of the most famous in the kingdom, and certainly 
the greatest example of its class in the county, is the 


ioo History of Warwickshire. 

Beauchamp Chapel in the Church of St. Mary, at Warwick. 
In the great fire in the seventeenth century this noble 
chapel and its tombs were practically unharmed. Although 
really the ' Chapel of Our Lady/ it is generally known by 
the name of. its founder, Richard Beauchamp, Earl of 
Warwick, who devised its building during his lifetime, and 
who left minute and curiously detailed instructions in his 
will as to his own memorial tomb, the cost of which, 
with that of the chapel (which occupied twenty-one years 
in construction), was ^"2,481 43. 7|d. equivalent to about 
^"40,000 now. The builcing was commenced in 1443 
(21 Henry VI.), but, although completed in 1465, the 
chapel was not consecrated till 1475. The bold warrior 
had died at the Castle of Rouen, in Normandy, on the 
3<Dth of April, 1439, and on ' the iiiith day of October next 
following his cors was honorably conveied, as well by water 
as by londe, from Roon unto Warrewik, and there worshiply 
buried in the college of our Ladye Chirche, founded by his 
noble Auncestres, the bishop of lichfield being executor 
officii, and many lordes and ladyes and other worshipful 
people there beying present ;' and when the chapel was 
completed, the body was reverently removed. An ' Inven- 
tory' of the furniture and dresses and gifts has been 
preserved, and gives full details o! the costly and gorgeous 
services, but is too long for quotation, and would be useless 
if condensed. It is printed, however, in 'The Churches of 
Warwickshire' (by the Rev. W. Staunton and Mr. M. H. 
Bloxam, F.S.A.), to which reference has already been 
made, and from which many of the following details are 
quoted. The chapel is a magnificent building in the very 
finest style of the fifteenth century, but only some account 
of the monuments can be given here. On descending, 
under a magnificent door-canopy, the few steps to the 
lower level, the splendid proportions of the chapel are seen 
at a glance, and the graceful and gorgeous tombs in the 
* dim religious light ' There are four stately monuments : 

The Beauchamp Tomb, Warwick. 101 

that nearly in the centre being of Earl Richard, the 
founder, west of which, slightly southward, that of Ambrose 
Dudley, ' the good Earl of Warwick ;' against the south 
wall, on the east, that of ' the noble Impe,' the youthful 
Lord Denbigh, the son and heir of Robert Dudley, the 
great Earl of Leicester (the favourite of Elizabeth), whose 
own fine monument and that of his Countess occupy the 
northern wall. All the monuments are not only histori- 
cally interesting, but more especially so as well-preserved 
memorials of the changes in the style of sepulchral monu- 
ments from 1450 to 1590. In 1642 the 'rebels,' under 
Colonel Purefoy, ' did beat down and deface these monu- 
ments of antiquity/ according to the contemporary 
chronicles ; but none of the tombs seem to have been 
damaged, and probably the altar of the chapel was the 
chief object of attack, and was broken up and removed, as 
its place is occupied by one erected in 1735. 

The great tomb of Richard Beauchamp could only be 
adequately described by giving minute details, with draw- 
ings or photographs, of every part of the work. It is ' a 
high tomb of gray Purbeck marble, bearing a recumbent 
effigy. The sides are divided into five compartments. 
Each compartment contains a large canopied niche, called 
in the contract " a principall housing," and each of these 
divisions is flanked by sunk panel-work, with a smaller 
niche above ; the " entail," or decorative part, is minutely 
and elaborately sculptured. Below each principal niche is 
a curved quatrefoil within a square. This contains a 
shield charged with armorial bearings enamelled on copper, 
and is thus described in the contract : " Under every prin- 
cipall housing a goodly quarter for a scutcheon of copper 
and gilt to be set in." The principal niches or "housings," 
fourteen in number, contain as many images, called 
weepers and mourners. These are cast in the metal called 
latten, and are gilt. Seven of these images are of males, 
and seven of females, and they represent persons of rank 

1O2 History of Warwickshire. 

allied by blood or marriage to the deceased. The small 
images, eighteen in number, contain the like number of 
small images or angels, likewise cast in latten and gilt. 
These carry scrolls in their hands, on which is engraved (in 
black letter) the following legend : " Sit Deo Laus et 
Gloria, Defunctis Misericordia." The artist in metal of the 
effigy was William Austen, citizen and founder of London, 
who " covenanted " (and carried out his promise) " to cast 
and make an image of a man armed of fine latten gar- 
nished with certain ornaments viz., with sword and 
dagger, with a garter, with a helme and crest under his 
head, and at his feet a bear musled, and a griffon perfectly 
made of the finest latten according to pattern and layde on 
the tombe ;" also " an hearse [open canopy] to stand on the 
tombe above and about the principall image, that shall lye 
in the tombe, according to a pattern." ' This fully de- 
scribes the artistic work, which is practically as perfect 
as when finished four hundred years ago. The ' hearse ' 
referred to was an open metal canopy over which the 'pall' 
was thrown, and is one of very few now remaining. On the 
moulded verge of the tomb a long inscription runs in 
raised letters, with the ' bear and ragged staff' intermixed; 
and all the details were in the contract that ' in the two 
long plates they shall write in Latine, in fine manner, all 
such declaration as the said executors shall devise that 
may be conteined and comprehended on the plates ; all 
the champes about the letter to be abated and hatched 
curiously to set out the letters. 3 But the inscription is in 
English (not * Latine,' as first proposed), and, although 
somewhat long, is curious and historic enough to deserve 
quotation : 

" fJreieth fcebonilg far the aotoel tohmn dob assmlle of one ot the moost 
toorshipful knightea in hi0 xrf monhobe anb conning iUcharb $eau- 
ehamp late rni ot SStamimk gloro Jlpesprnser of ^ergcbennj) au& of 
tnang nther grete iarbships tohos hoty resteih here unbec this in a 
fttifdre bcmt of stone *et on the .bare rnock the iuhieh toisiteb toitlt 
longe siknes ia the CCasiel of ^onn thennne ieeessefo fnl -cristeiUg the 

The Beauchamp Chapel. 10 

last bag of Jlprii, the ger of our ilorb Ciob ^4H <&<<., he 
being at that igme ICtentenant (ien'al anb (ioucrner of the gloialme of 
anb of the ipochie of ,|lormaitbie bg sufficient ^Uttoritie of ortre 
tori the !iin0 l^arrg the DI. ihetohich bobge toith xjreat 
beliberacon attb frtl toorshipfnl eonbmt $i see anb bg lonbe teas 
broght to Sitarretoik the iiii. ba^ of ODctxrber the %zx nbonzstiot anb 
teas kibe toith f ul solemn exequies in a fetr eheste mabe of (Stone in this 
Chirche afore the toest bore of this Chapel aecorbino, to his last ioille anb 
Testament therin to rest til this (Ehapel bg him bebiseb i' his lief to ere 
mabe at thetohiche Chapel founbeb on the ^ooek anb all the membres 
tlierof his executors beoe f nUg make anb apparaille ^g the anctorite of 
his saibe tast SJEille anb ^Testament anb therafter bg the same Jluetorite 
theu bibe translate ftul toorshiplg the seibe bobg in the .bont abobeseibe. 
^jtjonncrb be @ob therfor." 

The effigy was re-gilt and the escutcheons were re- 
enamelled in 1681, but, with a few minor exceptions, the 
famous tomb and effigy are little altered by the chances 
and changes of nearly four hundred years, and still form a 
magnificent example of medieval metal-work of unrivalled 
excellence. The contrasts between the form and style of 
this and the other monuments of later date around are 
significant and instructive as lessons in the history of 
monumental art. The Church of St. Mary has some other 
monuments of considerable interest, and that in the Chapter 
House especially. As to style and fashion, it is later in date 
than those in the Beauchamp chapel, being a large and 
cumbrous and clumsy four-column canopy over a sar- 
cophagus (cenotaph), but it was erected by Fulke Greville, 
the first Lord Brooke (who died in 1628), during his life- 
time, and has a simple modest epitaph, quaint in its form 
and truthful in its facts : 

'Fulke Grevill, Servant to Queene Elizabeth, Conceller to King 
James, and Frend to Sir Philip Sidney. Trophaeum Peccati.' 

Many of the old monuments perished in the fire of 1694, 
but some have been preserved by the engravings of Hollar 
and the descriptions of Dugdale, one seems to have been 
of the fourteenth century, others of the sixteenth century, 
and some * brasses ' of the Lucy, Maners, and other families. 
In the choir is still preserved a fine ' high tomb/ with effigy 

IO4 History of Warwickshire. 

of Thomas Beauchamp and his countess (1369), and panels 
around the tomb with thirty-six figures of considerable in- 
terest, as the effigies are in fair condition and curiously 
valuable as records of costumes. Another, a mural monu- 
ment with brass figures of Thomas Oken and his wife, 
great benefactors of Warwick, is remarkable as a post- 
Reformation monument (1573), with a Protestant inscription: 

' Of your charitie give thanks for the soules of Thomas Oken and 
Jone his Wyffe, on whose soules Jesus hath mercy, Amen. Remember 
the Charyte for the pore for ever. Ao. dni. MCCCCCLXXiil.' 

Another notable monument is a white marble slab with 
the incised effigies of the second Thomas Beauchamp, Earl 
of Warwick, who died in 1401, and of his wife, who died 
in 1406. Each of the effigies is gilt, probably re-gilt after 
the fire in 1694, and the details of the brasses and 
armorial bearings are in the best style of fifteenth-century 

Altar - tombs, with sides, having arched or quatre- 
foil panels, and shields are also found in Warwickshire 
churches, one of the best examples being that in Meriden 
Church, and that of GeofTray Allesley (1401), in Newbold- 
on-Avon Church. Another variety, the mural altar-tomb, 
with a canopy, remains in a fine example of fifteenth-, or 
early sixteenth-century work in Wolston Church, near 
Combe Abbey. One of the few eccentric monuments in 
the county is a Memento Mori example a skeleton 
beneath a figure of a man in armour of the seventeenth 
century in Tarbick Church. 

Sixteenth-century monuments show a marked decadence 
of taste, and prepare the visitor for the still more degraded 
examples of the next century and of the Georgian reigns. 
The use of alabaster instead of stone or marble had 
commenced. The figures had become kneeling, erect, 
truncated, or mere busts under canopies in regular succes- 
sion of ' decline.' Examples of these classes are found 
among the numerous monuments in Coleshill Church, in 

Stratford-on-Avon Church. 105 

St. Michael's Church, Coventry, at Sutton Coldfield, and 
in many other places, but none of artistic and few of 
historic value. 

Seventeenth-century monuments are also numerous, and 
some of these have been mentioned among the older and 
nobler remains at Warwick. The CHURCH of STRATFORD- 
ON- AVON also has some notable examples of various epochs 
of monumental art. The 'brasses' have long since disap- 
peared, although an order of Elizabeth was issued to protect 
them. In the chancel of the church is a very fine altar- 
tomb of Thomas Balsall, who built the choir (circa 1480), 
but it is thoroughly mutilated, although its proportions, 
design, and decoration are charming, even in decay and 
ruin. Near it is the canopied bust of Shakespeare in 
striking contrast ; and the still more striking contrast of the 
mural recumbent effigy of John a Combe, with two busts 
of members of his family above his tomb a monument 
whose only merit is a pathetic inscription. Another and 
more remarkable example is seventeenth-century Clopton 
Chapel, where the same contrasts occur. A 'restored' 
memorial of a long lost altar-tomb to Sir Hugh Clopton 
(1496), is the ol'dest and best, and close by is a good 
altar-tomb of William Clopton, his wife and children 
(1592-1596) ; and another more imposing structure to 
George Carew, Earl of Totness and Baron of Clopton, 
Master of the Ordnance, tempore Elizabeth, who died 
in 1629. His monument is large and pretentious, with 
barrels of powder, piles of shot, and cannon, numerous 
armorial bearings, bright in colours and gold, and with 
long Latin inscription recording his services. It is an 
excellent example of its date and fashions, and the Clopton 
Chapel, as a whole, is a valuable relic of history and art, 
developing in later days into a ' squire's pew,' as the family 
is long ago extinct. 

Another neighbouring example of a mortuary chapel is 
at Charlecote, near Stratford, where some monuments of the 


io6 History of Warwickshire. 

Lucy family have been carefully preserved, but in so dark 
: a chapel that their merits can scarcely be seen. The 
. earliest is that erected by Sir Thomas Lucy to the memory 
of his wife (in 1595), and it is a very good example of six- 
r teenth-century art. It has a special interest, too, in the 
pathetic epitaph in which the many merits and virtues of 
the Lady Joyce are described. Near it, in the same dark 
solemn chapel, is a monument to Sir Thomas himself, a 
lofty mural monument with conventional columns and a 
background of books, which may be assumed to indicate 
that he had some literary tastes. The later memorials 
have far less interest as to the deceased, and are little more 
than sad examples of the decline of art. The most famous 
and most interesting of all the Sepulchral Memorials in 
Warwickshire is the memorial of Shakespeare on the north 
wall of the chancel of Stratford-on-Avon Church. It was 
erected soon after Shakespeare's death in 1616, and before 
1623, and doubtless by his widow and his son-in-law, Dr. 
John Hall, who had married their daughter Susannah. 
The social position of Shakespeare as part-owner of the 
Great Tithes, entitled him and his family to burial in the 
chancel, where his own body and those of his wife, his 
daughter Susannah Hall, Dr. John Hall, and of Thomas 
Nashe, who married their daughter Elizabeth, are buried 
beneath slabs across the chancel from north to south. All 
the inscriptions are of personal and historic value, and give 
nearly all the facts as to the family, and even as to their 
personal characters. The small brass plate over the grave 
of the poet's wife has a Latin inscription, probably by her 
son-in-law, Dr. Hall : ' Here Lyeth Interred the Body of 
Anne, wife of William Shakespeare, who departed this life 
the 6th day of August, 1623, being of the age of 67 years/ 
Alongside is the slab with the famous doggerel lines : 


Shakespeare s Family Grave. 107 

The lines seem to be original, and no earlier example 
seems to have been found ; but similar lines of later date 
have been discovered in Warwickshire, at Solihull and at 
Shustoke. Although it is not probable that the poet him- 
self wrote like an ' unlettered muse,' there can be little or 
no doubt that he desired that his remains should never be 
removed to the charnel-house hard by, which contained the 
bones of so many of earlier generations. It is curious, 
too, that while many of the burials of his own family are 
recorded in the registers, no trace of the graves even of his 
father and mother, nor even of his own son Hamnet, has 
ever been found. The sacred rite of burial seems to have 
been required, and secured by this posthumous * curse,' and 
the poet's remains have been left undisturbed. 

The grave of Susannah Hall has a curious and character- 
istic inscription : 

' Witty above her sex, but that's not all, 
Wise to Salvation was good Mistress Hall, 
Something of Shakespeare was in that, but this 
Wholly of Him with whom she's now in bliss.' 

And this, while recording her likeness to her father, 
indicates also the Puritanic character of herself and her 
husband, and leaves ample room for speculation as to 
what the religious belief of Shakespeare himself may 
have been. Another part of the inscription, in English 
also, is characteristic : 

' Then, passenger, ha'st ne're a teare, 

To weep with her that wept with all ? 
That wept yet set herself to chere 
Them up with comforts cordiall. 
Her love shall live, her mercy spread, 
When thou ha'st ne'ere a teare to shed.' 

The epitaph has further : 

' Heere lyeth ye body of Susanna, Wife to John Hall, Gent., ye 
davghter of William Shakespeare, Gent., shee deceased ye nth of 
July, Ao. 1640, aged 66.' 

These graves of Shakespeare and some of his family 

io8 History of Warwickshire. 

have an exceptional and impressive interest as memorials, 
and especially as so few facts are known as to his personal 
or family life. Some doubts have been expressed as to 
whether the slab which covers the poet's grave is the one 
originally placed by his family, or whether it has been 
replaced and the inscription copied ; but there can be no 
reasonable doubt from the evidence which satisfied the late 
Mr. Halliwell Phillipps, and which was based on the 
traditions familiar to the late Mr. W. O. Hunt, and were 
handed down from his father and grandfather, and also 
from the evidence of the late Mr. R. B. Wheler, the historian 
of Stratford, which was personal knowledge down to 1800, 
that the slab was the original, and that only the letters had 
been deepened, and are now more carefully protected from 
injury than heretofore. 

The mural monument of Shakespeare is too familiar from 
photographs and sketches to need any full description. 
Its exact date is uncertain, but it is referred to in the 
verses of Leonard Digges in 1623, and its characteristics 
are clearly of that period, except that the two cherubs may 
be of rather later date. Its principal interest is that it con- 
tains a life-size bust of the poet ' in his habit as he lived.' 
This is the more important as it is one of the only two 
' true and original ' contemporary portraits which have any 
real pedigree, or any claim to be considered genuine and 
authentic portraits of the ' poet of all time.' The Droeshout 
engraving prefixed to the first folio in 1623 and the Strat- 
ford bust are the only real claimants, and there is always a 
link or more missing in the pedigree of all the rest. The 
Stratford monument was the work of Gerard Johnson, 
' tombe-maker,' of Southwark, who also executed the fine 
recumbent effigy of John Combe, in the same chancel, 
a proof, from the evident portraiture of Combe, that he was 
an artist of no mean skill. Portrait-sculpture was the 
fashion of the time, as is also proved by the characteristic 
individualized head and face of the Earl of Totness in the 

Shakespeare s Grave and Monument. 109 

Clopton Chapel in the same church, although of somewhat 
later date. Many sculptors, from Sir Francis Chantrey 
downwards, have had no doubt that the face was modelled 
from a post-mortem cast, also a common process of those 
days. There can, therefore, be no reasonable doubt that 
this bust shows Shakespeare as he was in his later years at 
Stratford, and that it was approved by his family and 
friends. A hundred years ago Edmond Malone was 
allowed to paint over all the colours of hair, face, and 
dress to a dirty drab, and in this state it remained till 
1863 made famous by the severe but well-deserved lines : 

* Stranger ! to whom this monument is shown, 
Invoke the poet's curse upon Malone, 
Whose meddling zeal his barbarous taste displays, 
And daubed his tombstone as he marred his plays.' 

In 1863 the paint was removed, and enough of colour 
was found to allow the whole to be really v restored ' to 
the state in which the bust had been left by Shakespeare's 
own friends. Now that the rawness of colour is ' toning 
down/ the monument has become a memorial of Shake- 
speare in the very ' fashion of his time.' 

The Droeshout portrait resembles and yet differs from 
the bust sufficiently to confirm its accuracy, and was, 
indeed, very probably engraved from a sketch of the 
bust, with such variations as are inevitable in all copies. 
It is highly improbable that Droeshout ever saw Shake- 
speare, so that if he had another portrait (which has been 
lost) to copy from, the resemblances of the bust and 
engraving are further authenticated, and the Droeshout 
portrait has the poetical but clear and credible testimony 
of Ben Jonson (who knew Shakespeare well) in the famous 
lines : 

; The figure that thou see'st here put 

It was for gentle Shakespeare cut ; 

In which the 'graver had a strife 

With nature to out-do the life. 

no History of Warwickshire. 

Oh ! could he but have drawn his wit 

As well in brass, as he hath hit 

His face, this print would then surpass, 

All that was ever writ in brass. 

But since he cannot, Reader, look 

Not on his picture but his book.' 

The restored colouring shows the bust as originally 
painted 'a fine, full round face, the forehead towering, the 
eyes large and orbed, the lips expressive, the nose full, but 
not too prominent, the chin set, and the whole head well 
poised and massive, as originally painted after nature. 
The eyes are light hazel, the hair and beard auburn. 
The shoulders are free from stoop, the chest is broad and 
capacious, the right hand formerly held a pen. The dress 
is a scarlet doublet slashed on the breast, over which is a 
loose black gown without sleeves. The upper part of the 
cushion is crimson, the lower part green, the cord which 
binds it and the tassels are gilt. The inscriptions are : 


[In judgment a Nestor, in genius a Socrates, in art a Virgil. The 
earth covers, the people mourn, Olympus holds him.] 


OBIIT ANO. DOL, l6l6. 

As Dr. Hall, Shakespeare's son-in-law, was familiar with 
Latin, which his professional note-book shows, it is supposed 
that he may have written this epitaph ; but the words 
' within this monument ' are puzzling, and could scarcely 
have been written by anyone who knew that the monu- 
ment was mural, and the grave itself under the chancel- 
floor below. The classical references in the first two 

Shakespeare's Bust. in 

lines may probably have been from the pen of Ben 
Jonson, or some of Shakespeare's London friends, who 
had not seen the mural monument and the chancel 

The full effect of the bust can scarcely be appreciated 
on account of its height eight or nine feet above the 
chancel-floor, so that the features are foreshortened and 
somewhat distorted through being seen from below. When 
viewed as reproduced from careful casts of the face, the 
expression of the features is far more life-like and im- 
pressive, and * appeals ' (says Britton) ' to our eyes and 
understandings with the full force of truth ;' and Fairholt, 
who had ample opportunities for minute and careful study, 
says : ' An intent study of this bust enforces the belief that 
all the manifold peculiarities of feature so characteristic of 
the poet, and which no chance could have originated and 
no theory account for, must have resulted from its having 
been a transcript of the man.' 

Many old churches of pre-Reformation days contain 
mural remains which are sometimes mistaken for monu- 
ments from which the effigies have been removed. These, 
however, are readily explained and understood, and are 
really the remains of Easter sepulchres, and consisted of a 
low altar-tomb generally in the north wall of the chancel. 
They were sometimes, after the Reformation, converted 
into monumental or mural tombs. Originally they were 
typical of the Resurrection and the tomb hewn out of 
the rock, and at Easter certain ceremonies were per- 
formed before them. ' The Host and crucifix were carried 
in procession on Good Friday and deposited in the " sepul- 
chre," which was generally a movable shrine. The door 
was then shut, and on that and the following night the 
"sepulchre was watched," in imitation of the narrative, and 
early on Easter morning the Host and crucifix were 
removed with great solemnity, the priest at the same time 
pronouncing the words, " Surrexit, non est hie." This is 

112 History of Warwickshire. 

shown among the constitutions for the office of deacon 
in Trinity Church, Coventry, in 1462 ; one is " that he 
shall watch the sepulcur on Astur even till the resurrection 
be don." ' The altar substructure and the arch above are 
generally the only vestiges now remaining, but the ' sepul- 
chre ' was sometimes constructed of stone of rich ' taber- 
nacle work ' with sculptured figures in relief. Few of these 
relics are found in Warwickshire, but there is one at 
Bilton Church, near Rugby, which Mr. Bloxam thus 
describes : 

'The position which the Holy Sepulchre occupied is indicated by 
an elegant and enriched ogee-shaped arch in the north wall of the 
chancel ; near to it is a low door through which access was obtained to 
a small building adjoining the chancel, of which no other vestiges now 
remain, the building having been entirely demolished, probably early 
in the seventeenth century, when the church underwent considerable 

At Cubbington Church, near Warwick, the ' substructure 
of the sepulchre consisted of a low raised altar or tomb 
in the north wall, under a plain, pointed, elliptical-shaped 
arch, devoid of sculpture or ornament.' These seem to be 
the only Warwickshire examples, but Mr. Bloxam adds a 
remark which is curiously illustrative : ' The holy sepulchre 
was sometimes erected on a real and not an imaginary 
tomb. On the south side of the Clopton chapel or 
chantry, adjoining the north side of the chancel of Milford 
Church, Suffolk, and under an open arch formed through 
the entire thickness of the wall and open to the chancel, is 
the altar-tomb of Sir John Clopton, who died in 1497, and 
on this was placed the movable "sepulchre" at Easter. 
The custom of watching the c; sepulchre " and other cere- 
monies, though generally discontinued at the Reformation, 
was revived during the reign of Mary ; but early in the 
reign of Elizabeth it was again discontinued.' 

1 Ancient churches now ruinated, desecrated or de- 
stroyed/ formed the subject of a sad but interesting 
paper by the late Matthew Holbeche Bloxam, F.S.A., not 

Lost, Ruined and Deserted Churches. 113 

long before his lamented death at a great age, full of 
years and honours, devoted to Warwickshire, and given 
with unstinted care. His long life and methodical notes 
have preserved many records of forgotten places which 
have gone into oblivion in the resistless flood of the 
changes of time. The list is too long for anything like full 
record, but some well deserve a passing note. Although 
he did not give a complete list, he referred to more than 
forty without including any of those in the city of 
Coventry or in the county town of Warwick. Many of the 
places disappeared at the general Dissolution (tempore 
Henry VIII.), but some in earlier and some in later days. 
The proximity to the manor-house, the depopulation of 
villages and towns, the enclosures by lords of manors, and 
many less marked causes, helped to secure the loss of many 
ancient buildings, and also to obliterate all traces even of 
their sites, except from the vague accounts in ancient 
records. In the first year of the reign of Edward VI. an 
inquiry was made as to ' all the landes and rentes with 
stockes and cattel and money given to the maintenance of 
Obittes or Lights within the county of Warwick/ and as 
one of the first results, that of Thomas Fisher at Bishop's 
Itchington was destroyed, and no part of it remains ; and 
under the same ' certificate' an ' olde decayed chapel ' in 
Long Itchington, probably attached to Stonenthorpe, a 
mansion of the fifteenth century, was broken up, and only 
a part of it remained as a stable. At ' Stonely/ too, ' oone 
chapell covered with tyle and shyn^le ' disappeared, and 
another, dating from the time of Stephen, shared the same 

Among many other disappearances Sir W. Dugdale 
records (1656) at Bentley, in the parish of Shustoke, ' but 
the carcase of a chapel here/ At Bretford, near Wolston, 
on the Fosse Road, even the site of a chapel or hospital, 
with a list of incumbents from 1303, is now unknown. 
At Broadwell, near Leamington Hastings, Dr. Thomas 


1 1 4 History of Warwickshire. 

records that a chapel was destroyed ' upon the report that 
it was like to be turned into a meeting-house.' At Calu- 
don, Dugdale mentions a ruined chapel, but no trace of it 
remains. At Cestersover, on the Watling Road, one was 
not used in Dugdale's day, and has since disappeared. On 
Dunsmore Heath, at a place called the Stride, there was 
* anciently a chapel which, with divers churches and other 
things, became appropriate to the Priory of Coventry in 
1260 (44 Henry III.), and, as appears by the grant of 
Philip and Mary in the first and second year of their reign, 
was an enclosed grove, ' but the site is unknown.' 

In Wedgnock Park there was * Cuckow Church,' which 
as early as 1500 had been 'down to the ground a long 
time ;' and the place where it stood, with the chapel road, 
had also been, and then was, ' employed to prophane 
uses : as also that there were no inhabitants who should 
rebuild it, the village whereunto this chapel did belong 
having been many years since depopulated.' At Dosthill, 
near Kingsbury, are the remains of a Norman chapel of 
the twelfth century, originally with a nave and chancel, the 
latter having been covered by the road to Tamworth, and 
the nave used as a schoolroom. At Lower Eatington the 
parish church has disappeared, except some ruins and a 
part used as a private chapel; and in 1795 an Act was 
passed to ' desecrate' the church at Upper Eatington. At 
Edston, near Henley-in-Arden, a chapel belonging to 
Wootton-Wawen, dating from Henry III., has been lost. 
At Fulbroke, near Stratford, a church of 1341 (Edward III.) 
was valued at nine marks, but was destroyed before 1535 
(Henry VIII.); and in 6 Henry VI. (circa 1428) there were 
only four inhabitants, and only the manor remained. At 
Hurley, near Kingsbury, a chapel and chantry, founded by 
one of the Bracebriggs of Kingsbury in Edward II. (circa 
1311), was used as late as 1667, and existed as late as 1712, 
but is now no more. At Luddington, in the parish of 
Stratford-on-Avon, there was ' anciently a chapel, the priest 

Lost, Ruined and Deserted Churches. 115 

serving in which had in 26 Henry VIII. vli. vis. and vmd. 
per annum for his stipend, and the like in 37 Henry VIII.' 
Tradition records that Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway 
in this chapel ; but its site is uncertain, and its register was 
destroyed in the last century. At Newnham Regis the 
case was still more shameful, and, in Mr. Bloxam's own 
words, ' Of the old church here nothing remains but the 
towers and some portions of the external walls of the nave 
and chancel. This structure was perfect, and the walls in- 
ternally covered with paintings in fresco or distemper of 
the Apostles, etc., till the close of the last century (circa 
1795), when it was desecrated and the walls partially de- 
molished by the steward, but without (it is believed) the 
knowledge of the then noble proprietor of the estate on 
which the church stood, near the manor-house/ 

Many other examples might be quoted as instances of 
the vicissitudes even of consecrated places ; but while in 
modern times these wholesale and shameless removals are 
less frequent, even more mischief is done under the pre- 
tence of ' restoration ' than has been accomplished in the 
earlier four or five hundred years. 




Warwickshire Worthies. County Family Names. Antiquaries : Sir 
W. Dugdale, Sir Simon Archer, Henry Ferrers, William Staunton, 
William Hamper, R. B. Wheler, M. H. Bloxam. Actors : 
Richard Burbage, Thomas Greene, William Shakespeare. Artists: 
David Cox, Thomas Creswick, H. N. Humphreys, John Pye, J. 
T. Willmore, the Wyons. Authors : Thomas Carte, H. F. Gary, 
( George Eliot/ Philemon Holland, the three Holyoakes, William 
Hutton,W. S. Landor, Mark Noble, Dr. Parr, Dr. Priestley, John 
Rous. Bishops : John Bird, Samuel Butler, Henry Compton, 
John Vesey (Harman), John Bird-Sumner. Judges. Martyrs. 
Physicians. Poets: Drayton, Shakespeare. Industrial Worthies: 
Matthew Boulton, Edward Thomason. General : Dr. Arnold, 
Robert Catesby, Thomas Wright Hill, Mary Linwood. 

THE ' English Worthies ' of Thomas Fuller nowadays far 
less read than its c quaint and curious ' pages deserve gives 
a full and fair account of the ' Worthies ' of Warwickshire, as 
well of the counties generally, as to ( Natural Commodities' 
(sheep, ash, cole [coal]), ' Buildings/ ' Wonders/ ' Medicinal 
Waters/ and ' Proverbs/ all described with that rough but 
pleasant humour and genuine wit which have made Fuller 
famous and readable even now. His 'worthies' are classed 
under various headings ' Princes,' ' Saints/ * Martyrs/ 
4 Confessors/ ' Cardinals/ ' Prelates/ ' Statesmen/ ' Writers/ 
' Romish Exile Writers/ ' Benefactors to the Public,' and 
4 Memorable Persons/ with a list of Warwickshire ' Lord 

Warwickshire Worthies. 117 

Mayors of London/ seven in number, from 1425 to 1619, 
of whom four were from Coventry, and one each from 
Stratford-on-Avon, Baddesley, and Rowington. .He also 
gives a list of the sheriffs of the county in the reigns of 
Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I., and of the gentry of 
the county in 1433 (12 Henry VI.), principally from Dug- 
dale's ' History of Warwickshire.' Although any classifica- 
tion of the 'Worthies' is arbitrary and indefinite, and 
somewhat formal, it is, on full consideration, the most con- 
venient for reading and reference. 

1 The Worthies of Warwickshire who Lived Between 1500 
and 1800,' by the Rev. Frederick Leigh Colvile, M.A., of 
Leek Wootton, was published in 1 869 in a handsome volume 
of nearly nine hundred pages, compiled with great know- 
ledge and care, giving the names in alphabetical order, with 
an alphabetical index, so that each of the memoirs can 
readily be found. The volume has the advantage of giving 
the titles of the works from which the facts are taken, and 
thus enabling the readers to test the correctness of the bio- 
graphies and to guide them to any further researches. 
While most of these biographies are from well-known and 
authoritative sources, a large number are original contribu- 
tions by ' experts,' and some of these will be used in this 
record of the ' Warwickshire worthies.' These * three cen- 
turies ' of ' worthies ' include three hundred and twenty-one 
names, but do not include all the names of some who had 
some claim to notice ; so that the present record must refer 
only to the more important names under the various head- 
ings, and only at such length as the character, history, or 
works deserve. 

The county families are generally allowed precedence 
in all such records, but as they form a very special subject, 
which has been fully treated from time to time in many 
genealogical volumes, they will have little or no notice 
here, except as to individual members who have won some 
special honours. Among them, however, may be named 

1 1 8 History of Warwickshire. 

the families of Conway, Craven, Compton, Digby, Dugdale, 
Dudley, Fielding, Ferrers, Greville, Holte, and Spencer, the 
last-named now more associated with Northamptonshire, 
although long known in Warwickshire at Wormleighton 
and Claverdon. 

A very handy and valuable little volume, now out of 
print and very rarely seen, is ' Warwickshire Arms and 
Lineages : Compiled from the Heralds' Visitations and 
Ancient Manuscripts,' by the Rev. F. W. Kittermaster, of 
Meriden, in 1866. This work, in 120 pages, shows what 
families belonged to the old gentry before 1650 partly, of 
course, from Dugdale and other authorities, with numerous 
corrections from the visits of the heralds from 1563 to 
1683; partly from the late Mr. Shirley's 'Noble and Gentle 
Men of England ;' and partly from personal researches at 
Oxford, Cambridge, and among parish registers. An 
appendix includes the names and arms of some families 
'now (1866) resident in the county;' but as the names 'do 
not appear in the Visitations, and have not been compared 
with heraldic records, they have been accepted only on the 
authority of the families who use them.' The one class of 
tested arms, etc., numbers 177, and the second class 27 
names ; but these later arms are those of ' old families,' 
although not strictly within the lines on which the larger 
part of the volume has been compiled. In all the cases the 
arms are fully described, and also the crests, and brief 
notes are occasionally given, and the references to the 
sources of ' authority ' are always appended. The work is 
complete as it stands, but it might have been made more 
interesting and useful if some sort of distinction had been 
made as to the families still connected with the county, to 
those who are known elsewhere (and where), and also to 
those which may possibly be now extinct. 

ANTIQUARIES form a goodly company among Warwick- 
shire worthies, beginning with Sir Symon Archer (1581- 
1662), of Umberslade, the contemporary and friend of Sir 

Antiquaries. 119 

William Dugdale and of Henry Ferrers, of Baddesley 
Clinton, whose united labours preserved and described 
many of the rarest and most valuable records of the 
county. Archer was knighted by James I. at Warwick 
Castle, in the presence of George Villiers, Duke of Buck- 
ingham, and many others, and was Sheriff of the county 
and M.P. for Tamworth in 1640. In 1630 he became a 
friend of Dugdale, who in the dedication of his 'Anti- 
quities of Warwickshire ' wrote : ' But principally I must 
acknowledge the signall furtherance which this work hath 
received by my much-honoured friend, Sir Symon Archer, 
Knt. a person, indeed, naturally qualified with a great 
affection to Antiquities, and with no small pains and 
charge, a diligent gatherer and preserver of many choice 
Manuscripts and other rarities whereof I have made a 
speciall use, as almost every page in this book will mani- 
fest.' In 1638 Archer persuaded Dugdale to accompany 
him to London, and introduced him to Sir Henry Spelman, 
who showed him much service. Fuller, who dedicates one 
of his books to the wife, 'the Lady Anne Archer,' writes : 
' This worthy Knight is a lover of Antiquity and of the 
Lovers thereof. I should be much disheartened at his 
great age, which promises to us no great hope of his long 
continuance here, were I not comforted with the considera- 
tion of his worthy son, the heir as well of his studiousness 
as estate ;' and further adds in a letter, ' It being question- 
able whether you be more skilful in knowing, careful in 
keeping, or courteous in communicating your curious col- 
lection in [of] that kind.' Archer was buried in Tamworth 
Church ' Symon Archer, miles, sepultus fuit 4 die Junii, 
1662 ;' and Mr. Colvile adds : * Some of his MSS. are in the 
library at Longbridge ' (1866); but, alas! they are lost 
for ever. At Longbridge House, near Warwick, the late 
William Staunton had collected an unrivalled library of 
books and MSS. relating to Warwickshire, which included 
not only those of Archer, but everything which thirty 

120 History of Warwickshire. 

years' industry and liberality could secure. The collection 
extended over more than three centuries as to dates, and 
had been continued down to our own days and carefully 
preserved by the late John Staunton, who generously sold 
it, on a friendly valuation, far below its mere market 
value, for presentation and preservation in the Reference 
Library, Birmingham, as ' The Staunton Warwickshire 
Collection ' a collection never surpassed by any county as 
to historic interest and future value from its ^^-copied 
treasures of MSS. and its many unique or rare books. 
The disastrous fire in January, 1879, during the exten- 
sion of this library, destroyed nearly the whole collection, 
and not even the catalogue was saved. 

Sir William Dugdale (1605-1686) was not only one of the 
most famous antiquaries of his own time, but one of the most 
illustrious in English history. He was born at Shustoke 
Rectory, in Warwickshire, not far from Blythe Hall, where 
he lived for many years, and from Shustoke Church, where 
his remains repose in peace. He was educated at Coventry, 
and among its famous sites and historic memories his 
antiquarian tastes were formed, and the course of his 
life marked out. In 1630 his friendship with Sir Symon 
Archer began, and their united life-work commenced. He 
had learned much law and history from his father, who was 
of a Lancashire family, but who had been attracted by the 
' woodland part of Warwickshire ' to reside there, and on 
the death of his father, in 1625, Dugdale sold the estate at 
Fillongley and bought Blythe Hall, near Coleshill, where 
he passed a large part of his long life. In 1638 he went 
with Archer to London, was introduced to Sir Christopher 
Hatton, and afterwards to Sir Henry 'Spelman, who intro- 
duced him to Lord Arundel, then Earl-Marshal of England, 
who first appointed him Blanche-Lyon, and afterwards, in 
1640, as Rouge-Croix in Heralds' College., whence, as his 
official residence, he had ready access to the records in 
the Tower and elsewhere, so that all the materials of 

Sir William Diigdale. 121 

history were ready to his hand. In 1641, when the first 
clouds of the great Civil War were gathering, he was busy 
copying the inscriptions and monuments in Westminster 
Abbey and St. Paul's. In the following year he was, by 
virtue of his office, present when the King's standard was 
hoisted at Nottingham, and he was also present at the 
battle of Edge Hill. When at Oxford with the King he 
collected materials for his ' Monasticon/ and in 1644, 
when at Worcester with the King, he began collecting the 
materials for his * History of Warwickshire/ one of the best 
known and most valuable of all his numerous works. 
About this date he met Antony a Wood, who in his 
< Fasti ' gave a memoir of Dugdale, evidently * inspired ' by 
Dugdale himself. In 1646 he removed to London, and 
was allowed to ' compound for his estate, which had been 
sequestered ;' and then with Roger Dodsworth he began 
his * History of St. Paul's Cathedral/ which was published 
in 1658, and continued his researches for the ' Monas- 
ticon.' During three months in Paris he began to study 
the history of the Alien Priories, the religious houses 
which had been 'cells' to the great abbeys of France. 
The cost of publishing the ' Monasticon ' was necessarily 
very heavy, and Dugdale and Dodsworth had not only the 
enormous labour, but had to borrow money to complete 
the first volume. 

In 1654 the death of Dodsworth left Dugdale with only 
one-tenth of the first volume ready, and the risks of law- 
suits which the publication of so many old documents had 
brought forth, and also the active opposition of many 
Puritans, who became suspicious that the work was only a 
preliminary step to the revival of popery. The 'History 
of Warwickshire ' was published in 1656, and Dugdale was 
nearly a year and a half in London to correct proofs and 
superintend the printing of the elaborate mass of facts and 
dates and references. The long-lost portion of his Diary 
of this period has recently (January, 1889) been discovered, 

V ; 

122 History of Warwickshire. 

and it gives many remarkable and curious details as to the 
cost of engravings, printing and paper, and shows how 
much microscopic care Dugdale gave to secure the correct- 
ness of every detail of his monumental work. A mere 
glance over any page suffices to show how elaborate and 
minute his researches were, not only among the official 
records, but among the masses of family papers entrusted 
to him. The numerous etchings by Hollar and others 
were generally supplied at the cost of the noblemen and 
gentlemen interested ; but the transcripts of State papers, 
the copying of pedigrees, the sketches of monuments, the 
* tricking ' of arms, the long lists of rectors, vicars, patrons, 
etc., were wholly Dugdale's own work, and revised and 
corrected by his own hand. 

The most careful critics have rarely found him wrong as 
to facts or dates, and the years of labour have had at least 
one reward, that the ' Warwickshire ' is justly regarded as 
one of the greatest of its class. It is only to be regretted 
that Dugdale's tastes and the fashion of his time did not 
lead him to record many facts as to churches, houses and 
other buildings, which would have been of priceless value 
now that so many have been ' restored ' or have entirely 
disappeared. His great work is too genealogical and heraldic 
for modern tastes. Much of what he passed over without 
notice would have been of infinite interest and value now. 
He gave himself very little trouble about remains which 
modern archaeology regards as the very bones and marrow 
of history. He took too little notice of British, Saxon or 
Roman remains. Not only many of his crowded pages are 
of the' dry-as-dust ' order, but his style is curiously clumsy, 
and sometimes his sentences are far from clear. Still, he 
did collect ' facts ' so far as they interested him, or were 
accordant with his. plans of research and record ; and he 
therefore deserves almost unstinted praise and honour as 
one of the most industrious, patient, careful and accurate 
of all who have explored the labyrinths of county history, 

Sir William Dugdale. 123 

with so little light in the dark recesses and so many pitfalls 
for unwary feet. Fuller, in his usual quaint way, well 
says : 

* I cannot but congratulate the happiness of this county in having 
Master William Dugdale, now Norroy, my worthy friend, a native 
thereof, whose Illustrations are so great a Work, no young man could 
be so bold as to begin, or old man hope to finish it, while one of middle 
age fitted the performance. A well- chosen county for such a subject, 
because lying in the centre of the land, whose lustre diffuseth the 
light and darteth beames to the circumference of the kingdom. It 
were a wild wish that all the Shires in England were described by an 
equal degree of perfection as which will be accomplished when each 
star is as big and bright as the sun. However, one may desire them 
done quoad specimen, though not quoad gradum, in imitation of 

At the Restoration Dugdale was made * Norroy King 
of Arms;' in 1667 'Garter Principal King of Arms' of 
Heralds' College then a high heraldic dignity, but less 
honoured now. His ' History of Embanking and Draining 
of Divers Fens/ and his ' Origines Juridiciales ' followed, 
and he was made a knight ' much against his will, as his 
estates were small,' on his rise to the dignity of ' Garter 
Principal King of Arms.' One of his daughters was 
married to Elias Ashmole, and the MS. collections for 
'Warwickshire' are now in the Ashmolean Museum at 
Oxford, some at Heralds' College, London, and the 
author's rough copy of the * Warwickshire' is reverently 
preserved at Merevale, near Atherstone, in Warwickshire. 
He died at Ely the Hall in 1686, and was buried in a vault 
at Shustoke Church with a Latin inscription, written by 
himself, in which he makes no mention of his invaluable 
contributions to English history, and records only the 
stages of his promotion to the highest honour which 
Heralds' College could bestow. His 'Life, Diary and 
Correspondence' were issued by the late William Hamper, 
F.S.A., of Birmingham, in an admirable volume, in which 
every known detail of his long, laborious and honourable life 

124 History of Warwickshire. 

is fully given, and with such praise as the vast researches, 
the minute care, the untiring labour, the patient revision, 
and the unrivalled accuracy of so many important works 
so thoroughly deserve from all who value the life-work of 
one who was truly a ' Warwickshire worthy/ and a county 
historian of the highest rank. 

Another of the antiquaries of Dugdale's time, and one of 
his literary helpers and personal friends, deserves some 
words of praise and honour. At Baddesley Clinton, near 
Knowle, in one of the most picturesque of the moated 
houses of Warwickshire, which remains almost unaltered, 
Henry Ferrers lived, and gave a large part of his quiet 
life to the discovery and preservation of the relics of the 
past. He was a careful student of heraldry, genealogy, 
and antiquities generally. He was a friend of Camden 
and Antony a Wood, and, excepting John Rous, he was 
the first collector of Warwickshire materials for history. 
He proposed to issue a c Perambulation of Warwickshire/ 
like Lambarde's of Kent, but he never accomplished it, and 
was content to place his collections at the service of his 
friends. Eight of his manuscript volumes were in the 
Staunton Library at Longbridge, but all were lost in the 
great fire in the Birmingham Library already referred to. 
His neighbour, Sir Symon Archer, and himself combined 
to help Dugdale, who unfortunately used only portions of 
their materials, the originals of which have mostly perished. 
Happily, however, a few have been preserved by copies 
made by Archer and Ferrers, and some of these copies, as 
well as originals, have been saved by the fortunate habit of 
' copying ' old manuscripts, which the leisure and tastes of 
some of the ancient Warwickshire gentry allowed. So 
late as sixty years ago Captain Saunders, of Stratford-on- 
Avon, copied many of the manuscripts of the Ferrers and 
Archer collection (which had been borrowed and not 
returned), and these passed into the hands of R. B. 
Wheler, the historian of Stratford-on-Avon, and are now 

William Hamper, F.S.A. 125 

safely stored in Shakespeare's birthplace. These are the 
more valuable as they are now the only copies of docu- 
ments which were not in accordance with Dugdale's plan 
of history, but which are of very curious value as parts of 
county history. Henry Ferrers died in 1633, aged eighty- 
four, but his tastes were not hereditary, and no engravings 
of Ferrers' monuments appear in Dugdale's ' Warwickshire,' 
1 because ' (says that historian) ' so frugall a person is the 
present heir of the family, now (1656) residing here 
[Baddesley Clinton], as that he, refusing to contribute 
anything towards the charge thereof, they are omitted.' 

Another of the antiquaries who greatly helped to pre- 
serve the materials of history was William Hamper -, F.S.A., 
of Birmingham (1776-1831), whose principal work was his 
4 Life of Dugdale/ but who devoted the small leisure of a 
busy life to antiquarian studies. He made very elaborate 
collections towards a new edition of Dugdale's * Warwick- 
shire,' as the edition of Dr. Thomas (two folio volumes, 
1730) was very unsatisfactory, being little more than a re- 
print of Dugdale's of 1656, with later and fuller copies of 
monuments and inscriptions. The Hamper copy of Dug- 
dale, interleaved, and with a mass of valuable notes and 
additions, is now safe in the British Museum, and is a 
monument cere perennius of his industry, vigilance, and 
knowledge of Warwickshire antiquities. He wrote, too, a 
singularly clear and correct 'hand/ and his copies of seals, 
facsimiles, rolls, charters, deeds, and pedigrees are as per- 
fect and accurate as engravings. Like his predecessors, 
Archer and Ferrers, he was constantly contributing to the 
works of others, and greatly helped in Nichols's ' Leicester- 
shire ' and Ormerod's ' Cheshire/ and especially in Dr. 
Blair's ' Kenilworth Illustrated/ and he gave many of the 
details to Scott's famous semi-historical romance. He also 
annotated Hutton's ' History of Birmingham ' with the 
purpose of a new edition, and collected a mass of facts 
previously unknown. His researches were extensive and 

126 History of Warwickshire. 

profound, his records minute and careful, his notes and 
corrections of the highest value; and if his leisure had 
been greater and his life longer, he would have left a series 
of antiquarian works of the highest value. He was a 
frequent contributor to the Gentleman's Magazine under 
several initials and signatures, a friend of all the most 
learned men of his time, and, as an F.S.A., a frequent con- 
tributor to the ' Archaeologia ' of the Society of Antiquaries. 
He died in 1831 at Highgate, near Birmingham, and was 
buried in King's Norton Churchyard, admired and honoured 
by all who knew him and appreciated his life and work. 

Another of the goodly company of Warwickshire anti- 
quaries who have kept alight the lamp of history for so 
many generations was one whose name has already been 
mentioned William Staunton^ of Longbridge, near War- 
wick, where his family had lived for five hundred years. 
Although best known as the founder of the famous War- 
wickshire Collection, to which he devoted the larger part of 
his life, he was an author or editor of two priceless volumes 
on the ' Churches of Warwickshire' so far as the Deanery of 
Warwick was concerned. He was the author of the his- 
torical portion of the work, and the architectural parts 
were the work of the late Matthew Holbeche Bloxam, and 
the illustrations were by the late Allen E. Everitt, of Bir- 
mingham, and others. William Staunton was born at 
Kenilworth in 1765, was educated at Rugby and at St. 
John's, Oxford, was called to the Bar, but after a short 
service in the Life Guards he became, with the late Francis 
Douce, one of the chief numismatic collectors of the day. 
His friendship with Hamper of Birmingham, and Sharp 
of Coventry, led him to form a fine library, and to collect 
all manuscripts and prints relating to Warwickshire ; and 
on the death of Hamper he acquired most of his MSS., 
deeds, rolls, and from Sharp his Coventry collections, 
which were extensive and valuable, and added from time 
to time all treasures from other sources as they occurred 

William Staunton, Thomas Sharp. 127 

for sale, and thus formed an unrivalled collection, including 
records from the Archer Collection down to his own time. 
Among these were the original Register of the Gild of St. 
Anne at Knowle (1412) ; the Archer Records (1242 to 
1485), the Cartulary of St. Mary's Priory at Coventry; the 
Gild-Book of St. Mary's, Coventry ; the Inventory of the 
Earl of Leicester's household at Kenilworth (1584) ; the 
illuminated Order of St. Michael given to Leicester by 
Louis XL in 1565 ; and many hundreds of original draw- 
ings of old churches and houses and of portraits of 
' worthies,' and countless autograph letters of famous men, 
as well as volumes of antiquarian correspondence with all 
the chief people over a period of more than fifty years. 
All these treasures were included in the presentation by 
public subscription to the Reference Library at Birming- 
ham, where they were unfortunately burned, and almost 
every scrap destroyed, by the fire in 1879. Even the 
original MS. catalogue perished, and only a small part of 
the proposed elaborate catalogue had been finished when 
the calamitous fire occurred. William Staunton died in 
1848, aged eighty-three, and was buried in the family vault 
at St. Mary's, Warwick, where a mural tablet marks his 
memory as one of the worthiest of the Warwickshire 
worthies. His friend and neighbour, Thomas Sharp, of 
Coventry (1771-1841), well deserves much honour for his 
learned and laborious work. As early as 1792 he obtained 
access to the then long-neglected but priceless treasures 
which had accumulated in Coventry during many centuries 
of * strange, eventful history.' He soon began to dust and 
clean and arrange and index the vast masses of neglected 
manuscripts, and his work, followed up a few years ago 
by the late John Fetherston, F.S.A., has now secured for 
Coventry a mass of well-cared-for manuscripts, records 
deeds, charters, merchant's marks, seals, autograph letters, 
etc., which no English city can surpass. Thomas Sharp, with 
George Howlttts and George Nixon, all of Coventry, set 

128 History of Warwickshire. 

to work to secure a record of all that remained of old- 
world lore. They engaged a drawing-master to make 
sketches of old churches, buildings, city gates, etc., to illus- 
trate Dugdale's 'Warwickshire,' and one copy contained 
no less than 670 ' illustrations ' 108 engravings, 40 draw- 
ings of brasses, 223 of churches, and 300 of miscellaneous 
antiquities most of which have long since been lost by 
vandalism or neglect. Sharp will long be remembered for 
his works on the ' Coventry Pageants/ his * Ancient Mys- 
teries and Moralities,' for his help in 'Kenilworth Illus- 
trated/ and his generous assistance given to many other 
writers as Dr. Harwood, of Lichfield, and others engaged 
in historical work. His many years of correspondence with 
Hamper, Staunton, and others had been carefully pre- 
served as of great value, but the many volumes perished in 
the disastrous fire in 1879. He died in 1841, and was 
buried in St. Michael's Churchyard, in the heart of the city 
to whose history he had devoted his life. 

Another Warwickshire antiquary is well known as the 
historian of Stratford-on-A.von, and although the range of 
his researches was limited, his work was well done, and 
has been universally known wherever the fame of Shake- 
speare has spread. He was not the first who. had given 
some account of Stratford, for a former curate, the Rev. 
Joseph Greene (1711-1790), had carefully recorded some 
details of the history of the town, as well as of his own 
times. Robert Bell Whder was born at Stratford in 1785 
in the house in which he lived all his life, and in which he 
died in 1857. He was articled to the Town Clerk of Strat- 
ford, and, except one month in London, he rarely left his 
native town. His position in the Town Clerk's office 
necessarily brought under his notice the mass of old docu- 
ments concerning Stratford which had been accumulating 
for several centuries, and his antiquarian tastes were 
acquired and developed in his very early life. He soon 
began to form the extraordinary collection of manuscripts, 

Robert Bell Wheler. 129 

books and relics which his sister, who survived him, gave 
to Shakespeare's birthplace, where they are now carefully 
preserved. His residence during so long a life continuously 
in Stratford enabled him to secure every document which 
formed part of the history of the town and neighbourhood. 
His profession as a solicitor gave him access to many 
private collections of papers, which he copied when he 
could not acquire the originals. He wrote a singularly 
neat, clear hand. He was an excellent draughtsman with 
pen and ink, and also sepia, and his facsimiles of seals, 
signatures and manuscripts, and his sepia drawings of 
old houses and buildings which were ruined or destroyed 
during his life, have the greatest interest and value as 
authentic records of the ancient town. The Wheler Col- 
lection contains not only original records of unique 
interest and importance, but volumes of scraps and cuttings 
of all the principal incidents of the history of the town. 
He had picked up and preserved many memorials of the 
Garrick jubilee, and had saved from destruction many of 
the small legal documents connected with Shakespeare's 
properties and interests in the town. His own autograph 
manuscripts, recording the facts in the history of Stratford 
from the time of John of Stratford in the seventh century 
down to the events of the first half of the nineteenth, are 
probably as complete a series as any town possesses. His 
first and most important work in literature for his whole 
life was spent in collecting materials for history is the 
' History and Antiquities of Stratford-on-Avon, J published 
in 1806, and illustrated with some excellent plates. The 
great merit of the text is its careful copies of manuscripts, 
now lost, and of inscriptions long ago defaced or 
destroyed. His own interleaved and annotated copy, with 
many additional drawings, plans and notes, is, of course, 
unique, and is more than ever valuable as a record of his 
later researches, fifty years after his work was first pro- 
duced. His ' Guide to Stratford ' (1814), and his ' History 


130 History of Warwickshire. 

of Shakespeare's Birthplace' (1824), were also works oi 
mark and merit, now rarely seen. His annotations in his 
own copies of these minor works for he ' counted naught 
done while aught remained to do ' are excellent examples 
of all that such works should be clear, concise, learned, 
accurate, even in the most trivial details. His books, and 
manuscripts, and sketches, given by his sister to Shake- 
speare's birthplace, number nearly three hundred volumes 
and relics, and his * Collectanea de Stratford,' a quarto 
manuscript of more than five hundred pages, is ' so 
minutely (but clearly) written that an ordinary transcript 
would fill half a dozen volumes of the same size.' The rest 
of the collection has no surplusage ; every portion grows 
more valuable as changes occur and landmarks are lost, 
and the Wheler Collection, although practically limited to 
Stratford and its immediate neighbourhood, is a noble 
monument to the memory and life-work of a Warwickshire 
author and collector who has enriched his county by the 
relics which he gathered and preserved. His good example 
was continued by his friend William Oakes Hunt, of an 
old Stratford family, and a resident there all his life, to 
whom the town owes an endless debt for his care of the 
Wheler Collection, his 'Index' to its contents, his long- 
continued care of the birthplace and museum, and his 
great services is assisting the late J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps 
to overhaul and calendar the long series of Stratford 
muniments which have been slowly increasing during 
seven hundred years. 

One other name clarum et venerabile nomen completes 
the long and honourable list of those who have devoted 
their lives to the history of Warwickshire. Some were 
merely collectors perhaps only 'hewers of wood and drawers 
of water,' ministering to the builders of the historic edifice 
but others gave their genius, skill, and larger knowledge in 
the light of their times and the fashions of their day. Nearly 
all the earlier antiquaries were content to study the manu- 

Matthew Holbeche Bloxam, F.S.A. 131 

script remains, and to record and illustrate the territorial, 
genealogical and heraldic history of the county. About a 
century ago new lights appeared, new sources of know- 
ledge were sought and studied, new illustrations of early 
history were traced from neglected sources, and a new 
generation of antiquaries arose. The interest and value of 
ancient buildings, the relics which were recovered from old 
mounds and graves, were found to be as important records 
of history as the musty manuscripts and faded deeds and 
charters which Archer and Ferrers and Dugdale had 
delighted to explore. The fast-perishing memorials in 
earthworks, roads, old walls and ruins were found to be 
historic and illustrative, when carefully examined and 
described. Gothic architecture, which had never died out, 
but had only ceased to be understood and appreciated, 
slowly revived. No student or author of the time deserves 
higher praise for his share in this real ' revival ' than 
Matthew Holbeche Bloxam , F.S.A., who was one of the 
first to understand, to explain, and to popularize the 
genuine study of Gothic architecture, and to educate the 
taste of the early half of our century to the value, interest, 
and historical importance of the rich and rare remains of 
art which old churches and old houses have preserved. 
He was one of the first of the new school of antiquaries, 
who have developed into archaeologists, and of the wider, 
systematic, and historic study of the buildings and monu- 
ments of the * good old times.' He was one of the first to 
trace by personal observation, and to record with graphic 
pencil and pen, the remains of British, Celtic, Roman, and 
Saxon influences and relics, and especially to note and 
compare the growth and perfection of the architectural 
remains of the early centuries of English history, from the 
Norman Conquest to the sixteenth century, as priceless 
architectural and monumental remains. He filled up, in 
fact, the register of our national story by the study of 
long-neglected or misunderstood 'survivals,' and traced 


132 History of Warwickshire. 

the links of evolution with a masterly hand during a long 
and honourable, a modest and blameless life. 

Matthew Holbeche Bloxam was born at Rugby in 1809, 
and was educated at the school where his father was one 
of the masters. He was articled to a lawyer there, and 
his early duties to search the registers of country 
churches took him to many of the old villages of 
Warwickshire and the neighbouring counties, and formed 
the * environment' by which his early tastes were moulded 
and the work of his life slowly matured. He began to 
make sketches of monuments and porches, fonts, windows, 
and crosses, and then to study and compare his observa- 
tions. His interest was soon aroused by the remains of 
British camps and Roman roads, and he devoted all his 
leisure to the study of all ancient remains, long before 
their value and interest were generally understood. In 
1829 he published a small volume, 'The Principles of 
Gothic Architecture/ and, according to the Pinnock- 
fashion of the time, it was ' elucidated by question and 
answer.' This volume, printed at Leicester, soon became 
popular, and aroused a new interest and admiration of the 
too long neglected remains, and it soon became a hand- 
book and guide, especially to the numerous ecclesiastical 
buildings. The work became so popular that in 1845 it 
had reached a fifth edition, and soon afterwards was trans- 
lated into German, with more than two hundred of the 
excellent woodcuts which so largely increased its useful- 
ness and spread its fame. Its accuracy was so notable 
that it was accepted as evidence in a Chancery suit as to 
an ancient chantry chapel at Icklesham, in Sussex. In 
1882 the final edition was published in three volumes, and 
the work holds its place as one of the most handy, accurate, 
and complete handbooks of Gothic ecclesiastical art. A 
special work on ' Monumental Architecture and Sculpture ' 
was issued in 1834, and soon became scarce; but its 
substance and illustrations were included in the edition of 

Matthew Holbeche Bloxam. 133 

1882. Another work, ' Fragmenta Sepulchralia ' - now 
still more rare was only a fragment, but it related to the 
sepulchral remains of the Celtic and Belgic Britons, the 
Romans, the Romanized Britons, the Early Saxons, and 
the forms of burial from the seventh to the seventeenth 
century. The principal parts of this volume are, however, 
also included in the edition of 1882. The two volumes on 
the 'Churches of Warwickshire,' already referred to, owe all 
the descriptions of architecture and monuments to Bloxam, 
and greatly increase the authority, accuracy, and value of 
the work. He also had a large share in the ' Memorials of 
Rugby/ which were illustrated by C. W. Radclyffe ; and 
in the ( Brasses of Northamptonshire,' by the late Franklin 
Hudson, ninety brasses were described by Bloxam from 
his rubbings and notes. His long life and comparative 
leisure enabled him to visit many parts of England where 
Gothic remains were found, and to prepare more than two 
hundred papers on various subjects to various archaeolo- 
gical societies. He modestly regarded them as ' ephemera,' 
but all have curious interest and authority as the records 
by a competent author of a long series of observations. 

He was not elected a Fellow of the Society of Anti- 
quaries till 1863 ; but no candidate was ever worthier of 
that honour, and he was soon afterwards chosen as one of 
the local secretaries for Warwickshire, with the late Evelyn 
Philip Shirley. He frequently attended the meetings of 
the society, and contributed several papers to the Arckceo- 
logia. Nearly all his life was passed at Rugby, and he 
naturally felt a great interest in the famous School, and 
delighted to take some of the boys his * young archaeo- 
logists ' to look over his crowded rooms and to under- 
stand some of the treasures and relics of old times. One 
of his latest works was a modest ' Fardel of Antiquarian 
Papers,' a list of the pamphlets and papers he had written 
during fifty years, with valuable notes and comments of 
an autobiographical sort. Almost to the last he kept at 

134 History of Warwickshire. 

his congenial work, sketching, noting, illustrating, and 
until the year of his death he took every opportunity of 
going out with the Warwickshire Field Club on its 
archaeological excursions, and revisiting the places, some 
of which he had not seen for sixty years ! Although a 
reverent preserver of all relics of the past, and a hater of 
modern c restorations,' he was a stern critic and a thorough 
iconoclast as to some of the traditions about Guy, Earl 
of Warwick and Godiva of Coventry, Wycliffe's chair at 
Lutterworth, and other similar legacies of the 'ages of 
faith/ His love of Warwickshire, and especially of Rugby, 
formed a pleasant part of his character. He sometimes 
read papers on his recollections of Rugby School, and of 
life at Rugby sixty years before. He wrote many special 
descriptions of the more interesting remains in Warwick- 
shire, in which historic research and personal observation 
were pleasantly combined. As early as 1836 he read a 
paper on the ' British Antiquities of Warwickshire,' and 
he continued his papers about Rugby School till a few 
weeks before his death. He died on April 24, 1888, in 
his eighty-third year, and was buried at his own desire in 
a spot he had chosen, at Brownsover, not far from Rugby, 
' near the site of an ancient British fortress.' His personal 
life was uneventful. His health was almost unbroken all 
through his life. He was cheerful and active almost to 
the last, and paralysis left his mind unclouded and his 
memory clear. All he knew or all he could learn was ever 
at the service of his friends. He was a gentleman of the 
old school in mind and manners, kindness and courtesy. 
His additions to Warwickshire history are perhaps not 
yet fully appreciated as to completeness and extent. 
Among all who knew him personally, only pleasant 
memories remain, and he has left to literature at least 
one monumental work which has been the teacher and the 
text-book of two generations as to the glories of Gothic 

Actors. 135 

ACTORS have not been numerous in connection with 
Warwickshire, but three at least were among the foremost 
of the players of the Elizabethan stage. Curiously, too, 
and almost inexplicably, all the three belonged to Stratford- 
on-Avon. Richard Burbage (or Burbadge), the ' Roscius of 
the Elizabethan age/ is recorded with Thomas Greene as 
amongst the townsmen of Stratford ; and they were cer- 
tainly natives of Warwickshire, and probably of Stratford. 
In 15/4 Elizabeth granted a license to Burbage and others 
for plays of every sort, they ' being before seen and allowed 
by the Master of the Revels.' In 1583 Burbage's company 
was incorporated as the ' Queen's Players,' and Shake- 
speare himself was probably, or at least possibly, in his 
townsman's 'company' as early as 1587, when they visited 
Stratford, and were more highly rewarded than any pre- 
vious players had been. Even if Shakespeare was not a 
member of the company, there can be no reasonable doubt 
that his connection with the stage was due, sooner or later, 
to the example and influence of his successful townsman. 
The details may never be fully known, but the happy 
accident of one Stratford man being a successful player 
when Shakespeare had gone to London may fairly be 
claimed as the immediate cause of Shakespeare becoming 
a player and a dramatic author, who might under less 
favourable circumstances have lived and died unhonoured 
and unknown. In 1603 Shakespeare's name appears in 
a royal warrant of May 17, with those of Laurence 
Fletcher, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillips, William 
Sly, Robert Armyn, Richard Cowlye, John Hemmings, and 
Henrie Condell, and the rest of their associates ; the two 
last-named being those of the two friends who collected 
the plays of Shakespeare in the famous first folio of 1623, 
seven years after the poet's death. This ' company of 
players ' had the ' warrant to use and exercise the arte and 
faculty of playing comedies, tragedies, enterludes, histories, 
moralls, pastorals, stage-plaies, and such-like, as they have 

136 History of Warwickshire. 

alreadie studied, or hereafter shall use or studie, as well for 
the recreation of our lovinge subjects as for our solace and 
pleasure ... as well within their now usuall howse called 
the Globe, within our County of Surreye, as also within 
anie town halls or mote halls, or other convenient places 
within the liberties and freedome of anie other citie, uni- 
versity, towne, or borough whatsoever within our said 
realms and dominions/ etc. Burbage was one of the 
first and principal players of Shakespeare's greatest 
tragic characters, and the fact that he is mentioned in 
Shakespeare's will is another proof of their close and life- 
long personal relations. One of Burbage's favourite plays 
was ' Romeo and Juliet/ and his first daughter was named 
Juliet; and after her death, in 1608, another daughter, 
born in 1614, received the same memorable name. Bur- 
bage was a painter as well as a player, and a portrait said 
to be of Shakespeare, and evidently of early date, was held 
by the late Abraham Wivell to be a genuine portrait of 
Shakespeare by Burbage, but the genuineness has never 
been fully proved. Burbage died about three years after 
Shakespeare (circa 1620), and the characteristic epitaph on 
his grave was 'Exit Burbage/ 

Thomas Greene was less famous, but a comedy-actor of 
considerable power and fame. He, also, is traditionally 
said to have introduced Shakespeare to the stage, circa 
1586. Heywood says of him : ' There was not an actor of 
his nature, in his time, of better ability in the performance 
of what he undertook, more applauded by the audience, of 
greater grace at the Court, or of more general love in the 
City.' Little more is known of him, except as to his name 
as one of the dramatis persons in many of the contemporary 
plays ; and one of his most popular parts was that of 
Bubble, in ' The City Gallant,' a character who, in answer 
to every compliment, shouted out * Tu quoque ;' and a 
portrait of Greene, with a label issuing from his mouth and 
bearing these two words, was added as a frontispiece to the 

Shakespeare and the Stage. 137 

two contemporary editions of the play. He was doubtless 
connected with the Thomas Greene, Town Clerk of Strat- 
ford, who held a good position there. 

William Shakespeare himself must be included among 
these Stratford actors, although his fame as a player has 
been lost in the splendour of his genius as a dramatic 
author. His name appears as an actor, but he is not 
known to have taken any very great position on the stage. 
Tradition records that he played the Ghost in * Hamlet/ 
and also old Adam in ' As You Like It ;' and in his early 
life in London, and his first connection with the stage, 
doubtless he played minor characters, at least, from time to 
time. Whatever his personal experience as a player may 
have been, there can be no sort of doubt that it was invalu- 
able to him in the works which his genius produced in later 
years. Not only his stage knowledge, but his unrivalled 
skill in working out plots and creating characters, was 
vastly influenced by his personal observations and ex- 
periences on the stage. No dramatic author has ever 
approached him in the extraordinary life-likeness of 
characters, and brilliant dialogues and arrangements of 
parts. Not only as a dramatist, but as a critic, he stands 
in the first rank and the first place, and his ' Advice to the 
Players/ which Hamlet gives, is wholly unsurpassed as 
genuine criticism, and as laying down the conditions, laws, 
and expressions upon which all really great acting must 
ever be based. 

ARTISTS. A school of artists painters and engravers 
flourished in Warwickshire in the latter half of the last 
and the first half of this century, and secured far more 
than merely local fame. While their works are well 
known and highly valued, comparatively little has been 
preserved of their lives and progress. All that could be 
traced was recorded in a valuable paper by Mr. J. Thackray 
Bunce in a series of * Biographical Notes ' as a preface 
to the catalogue of an exhibition of engravings by 

138 History of Warwickshire. 

Birmingham artists formed at Birmingham in the spring 
of 1877, and from which many of the following details are 

Allen, J. B. (1802-1876), was born in Birmingham, and 
was a pupil of J. V. Barber and S. Lines. He left his 
native town in early life, and was engaged as an engraver 
for the Bank of England for many years. His early land- 
scape works were for the then popular 'Annuals,' and after- 
wards for Finden's ' Gallery of Art,' and the Art Journal. 
He was an intimate friend and associate of John Pye and 
Joseph Goodyear all through his London life. His ( Bull- 
Fight at Seville,' for Jennings' ' Landscape Annual,' was 
undertaken for eighty, but the publisher gave him one 
hundred, guineas on seeing the first proof. 

Barber, J. V. (1787-1838), was the son of Joseph Barber, 
an eminent drawing-master in Birmingham, and he con- 
tinued his father's school till 1836, when he retired on a 
competency, and devoted the rest of his life to landscape 
art. In 1837 and 1838 he visited Italy, where he was 
attacked by marsh-fever, and he died in Rome in 1838. 
Some of his best work was given to local drawings for the 
' Graphic Illustrations of Warwickshire,' and to some fine 
oil-pictures presented by his widow to the Birmingham Art 
Gallery. He was honorary secretary to the first Society of 
Artists in that town, and he was the teacher of many of 
the local engravers and painters who won distinction, such 
as Baker of Leamington, J. T. Willmore, A.R.A., and 
F. H. Henshaw, who still survives his early friends in 
a genial old age. 

Brandard, R. (1805-1862), was also born in Birmingham, 
where he received his early art-training, and then went to 
the studio of Edward Goodall, where he engraved many of 
Turner's works. He sometimes exhibited oil-pictures at 
the Royal Academy and the British Institution. He con- 
tributed many fine engravings of the Vernon Collection to 
the Art Journal, and won great fame and honour as a 

David Cox and Thomas Creswick. 139 

draughtsman, an engraver, and an etcher of a very high 

Cox, David (1783-1859), has so long been famous that 
only a few details of his local life and associations need be 
given. He was born in Birmingham, near which he spent 
the last years of his life, and was buried at Harborne, near 
Birmingham. As an etcher, by the soft-ground process, he 
won great fame by his fine folio of drawing-lessons in all 
stages, under the title of ' A Treatise on Landscape Painting 
and Effect in Water-Colour,' in 1814, and later by a fine 
quarto volume, * The Young Artist's Companion and 
Drawing-Book/ in 1825. Both works are now rarely met 
with, and they secure very high prices whenever a copy 
occurs for sale. The first-named work had forty pages of 
etchings, twenty-four of aquatints, and some in colour, with 
remarkable details of Cox's own method and practice, as 
given to his pupils and employed in his own work. The 
fame of David Cox as one of the greatest water-colour 
artists of his day is world-wide, and the Art Gallery of 
Birmingham contains a large number of his less known but 
highly valued landscapes in oil. 

Creswick, Thomas (1811-1869), was born at Sheffield, but 
was educated at the famous Hazelwood School, Birming- 
ham, which, under Thomas Wright Hill and his son (Sir) 
Rowland Hill, formed the characters of so many men of 
eminence. Creswick showed so much talent and skill that 
he was a pupil of J. V. Barber for some time, and in 1828 
he went to London, where, although only in his seventeenth 
year, two of his pictures were hung at the Royal Academy, 
to which he was a frequent contributor for more than 
thirty years. He excelled in etching, and was constantly 
engaged in book illustrations, for which he became famous. 
In many of his pictures he was modest and wise enough to 
accept the aid of his friends, as Ansdell, Elmore, Frith, and 
Goodall, for figures and cattle ; but as a patient student of 
nature, and a brilliant painter of trees and landscape, he 

140 History of Warwickshire. 

won the highest praise. He died in 1869, and was buried 
at Kensal Green. 

Eginton, Francis (1737-1805), was one of the illustrious 
artists whom Matthew Boulton gathered around him at 
Soho in the latter half of the last century. He was born at 
Eckington, Worcestershire, but passed nearly all his life at 
Handsworth-juxta-Birmingham and close to Soho. He 
began life as an enameller at Bilston, near Wolverhampton, 
now only known as a smoky town in the ' Black Country,' 
but which was famous a century ago for c patch-boxes ' and 
other works in enamelled copper, which competed with 
those of Battersea as works of art. In 1764, just before 
Boulton began at Soho, Eginton was working as a 
decorator of japan-ware ; but he also worked at modelling, 
and soon afterwards was working for Boulton, with Flax- 
man, Kiichler, Pidgeon, and others, in many departments 
of art. Eginton was the inventor of a process of copying 
oil-pictures in colour which excited much interest and 
discussion some years ago, as most of the original facts had 
been forgotten. It was, in fact, a method of colour-printing 
by aquatint transfers for each colour, afterwards revived 
and improved in the Baxter oil-pictures, and still later on 
lithographic stones in the modern oleographs. Large 
numbers of these were sold, and some were of very large 
size, and so excellent that they were sold as genuine 
original oil-paintings, when discovered a few years ago. 
The process was probably suggested by the transfer- 
printing used on pottery ; but it did not pay, and Boulton, 
who was eminently practical, ceased to produce such pic- 
tures in 1780. Local tradition asserted, on the ground of 
some words of Sir William Beachy, that the process was 
suppressed in the interests of art ; but the commercial 
failure was the real cause. Eginton's name was also asso- 
ciated with some alleged early photographs long before 
Daguerre and Niepce. Wedgwood had certainly observed 
the effects of light on plates of nitrate of silver, but the 

Eginton and Early Oleographs. 141 

means of fixing the impression were really not known in 
Eginton's century, and the supposed photographs of build- 
ings were proved to be the work of half a century later. 
After the partnership of Boulton and Eginton was ended, 
the ingenious inventor turned his attention to producing 
windows of coloured glass, but perhaps more exactly to 
the production of pictures on glass, which were formed into 
windows. In 1784 he had a house and workshops near 
Soho, where during the next twenty years he produced a 
large number of windows in * stained glass.' His work was 
really painted on glass in sections of the whole work, and 
then generally fitted in rectangular frames, and not with 
the various lines of * leading ' used in mediaeval glass. The 
novelty and effects of his process which was practically 
1 transparencies on glass,' to be looked through rather than 
looked at, and largely opaque and the fashion of the day 
brought him large commissions, his first work being the 
Arms of Knights in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, followed 
by others in numerous cathedrals and mansions ; and at 
Beckford's famous ' Fonthill Abbey ' his numerous works 
cost i 2,000. He was buried at Handsworth in 1805, an ^ 
the only worthy memorial of his life and work is in a 
privately printed memoir by William Costen Aitken (1817- 
1875), who devoted his life and labours and genius to the 
heroes of Soho, and whose mortal remains rest, as he 
desired, by Francis Eginton's grave. 

Eginton, Francis, jun. (1775-1823), was a nephew of the 
artist described above, and was born in Birmingham. He 
was an engraver in ' stipple,' and was well known and 
admired for his great care and taste. He executed many 
very fine engravings for Shaw's * Staffordshire,' Wheler's 
' Stratford-on-Avon/ Bissett's ' Directory,' Pratt's ' Leam- 
ington Guide,' Price's ' Hereford and Leominster,' and 
many local topographical and historical works of his time. 
His name and works are frequently assigned to his relative ; 
but the dates give a safe clue generally, and the older 

142 History of Warwickshire. 

Eginton is not known as an illustrator of books, but con- 
ducted his works as a glass-stainer till his death in 1805, 
and they were continued by his son, William Raphael 
Eginton, for many years. 

Garner, Thos. (1789-1868) was the son of a Birmingham 
engraver, and was also born in that town. He was a pupil 
of S. Lines, and afterwards of the schools of the Royal 
Academy, and then went to the studio of the Heaths for 
some time, and returned to his own town, where he passed 
most of his life. He engraved for the Art Journal and the 
earlier annuals, and was especially successful as a pure 
' line-engraver ' and in portrait-work. He was a thorough 
artist in all he undertook, and he gave great service to all 
local art by his kindly modesty and generous encourage- 
ment of all young folk who showed a taste for art. 

Goodyear, Jos. (1797-1839), was a pupil of J. V. Barber 
and S. Lines, and was engaged by Charles Heath as an 
historical engraver. He was also a frequent and excellent 
contributor to the annuals, and produced a large number of 
fine engravings which were popular in his own day, and are 
still highly prized. His largest, latest, and most important 
plate was that of Eastlake's ' Greek Fugitives.' 

Green, Valentine (1737-1812), was born at Salford Priors, 
near Alcester, Warwickshire, and was one of the most 
famous engravers and antiquaries of his time. He was 
meant to be a lawyer, but in 1760 he left home and articled 
himself to Robert Hancock, a well-known ' line-engraver/ 
of Worcester. As he was not quite at home in his choice, 
he compiled a ' History of the City of Worcester,' with six- 
teen copper-plates from his own drawings, which he pub- 
lished in 1764. In the next year he went to London and 
started as a mezzotinto engraver, an art which he had 
taught himself, and in which he won laurels for forty-four 
years. One of his best works was the ' Dusseldorf Gallery,' 
the Duke of Bavaria having given him the ' concession ' to 
engrave and publish the collection of twenty-four plates, 

Moses Haughton and H. Noel Humphreys. 143 

which he completed in 1795 ; but the French siege, and the 
removal and dispersion of the pictures, caused him heavy 
losses. In 1776 he was elected one of the six Associate 
Engravers of the Royal Academy, and soon after a Fellow 
of the Society of Antiquaries. His ' History of Worcester' 
has long been accepted as authoritative up to date, and is 
interesting even now, when a different standard is fixed for 
all such works. His other works were : ' A Review of the 
Polite Arts in France ' (1782), ' The Discovery of the Body 
of King John in Worcester Cathedral ' (1797), and the 
' Acta Historica Reginarum Angliae,' with a series of rare 
and fine portraits of the ' ancestors of the first families in 
Great Britain/ In 1804 he was Keeper of the British 
Institution of the Fine Arts, and he died in London in 

Haughton^ Matthew (1734-1804), was a brother of Moses 
Haughton, a painter who secured a high local reputation, 
and who as an engraver showed great powers and skill. 
Matthew Haughton was a wood-engraver, but only few of 
his works, and fewer details of his life, are now known. 

Moses Haughton was a prolific worker, and originally a 
painter of tea-trays and similar articles, such as were made 
by Baskerville, before he devoted his taste to type-founding 
and printing, and by Henry Clay, who raised such produc- 
tions to the rank of art. The fashion of the time led to 
the production of finished hand-paintings on ' trays ' and 
* waiters ;' and many of these, after the artists had 
become famous, have been treasured as valuable pictures. 
Haughton not only designed, but engraved, pictures of 
Scriptural subjects as plates to editions of the Bible, which 
were issued in Birmingham by Pearson and Rollason, and 
by Boden and Adams in the later years of the last century. 
He was buried, and has a monument to his memory, in 
St. Philip's Church, Birmingham. 

Humphreys, Henry Noel (1809-1879), was born in Bir- 
mingham, and was educated in King Edward's Grammar 

144 History of Warwickshire. 

School, where he won distinctions ; but the future work of 
his life was given to archaeology and art. His name has 
long been well known in connection with illustrated books 
on history, natural history, archaeology, and art, and many 
of them have become the text-books on their various 
subjects. He was one of the first to see the usefulness 
and to develop the advantages which chromo-lithography 
affords in reproducing in a comparatively cheap form the 
choicest examples of the mediaeval illuminated manuscripts, 
which had been almost inaccessible for the use of students 
as examples of design and colour. Among his works only 
the most important need be named to show the extent and 
variety of his labours, and they are too well known and 
appreciated to need special praise. There were 'The Art 
of Illumination and Missal Painting' (1848), 'The Coins 
of England ' (1847), 'The Origin of Coins and the Art of 
Coining' (1849), 'The Illuminated Books of the Middle 
Ages' (1847-1850), 'The History of Ancient Coins and 
Medals' (1850), 'The Origin and Progress of the Art of 
Writing' (1852), 'The Coin-Collector's Manual' (1853), 
'The Ocean and River Gardens' (1857), ' The Butterfly 
Vivarium' (1858), 'The Genera of British Butterflies' 
(1859), an d of 'Moths' (1860), 'The Coinage of the British 
Empire' (1860), and the great work, in conjunction with 
Westwood, on 'Butterflies,' the same year. 'The Illustra- 
tion of Froissart's Chronicles' (1862) was also a fine and 
valuable work. 

Lines, Sam (1778-1863), was born at Allesley, near 
Coventry, but removed to Birmingham in 1794, and passed 
his long life in that town. He was apprenticed to a clock- 
dial enameller, but his love of art and his gr .jjnic skill 
induced him to open an 'Academy' in 1807; and he 
continued his teaching to the last years of his long life. 
He had the merit of being the art-father of nearly all the 
local men who became famous in later years. In 1814 he 
joined Barber, RadclyfTe, and others in the collection of 

John Pye and William Radclyffe. 145 

the first Art Exhibition in Birmingham, and took an active 
part in all the later exhibitions till his eightieth year. As 
an artist he did some good work, and was in his early life 
an etcher of figures and inscriptions on swords, a designer 
of war-medals, and also for the papier-mache ware first 
made by Henry Clay. 

Pye, John (1782-1874), was also a native of Birmingham 
and one of the foremost of the ' School.' He entered the 
studio of Charles Heath in 1801, and in 1820 he engraved 
Turner's ' Pope's Villa at Twickenham/ which soon brought 
him fame. Turner was so well pleased that he said to him ; 
'This will do; you can see the lights. If I had known 
there was a man living who could do that I would have 
had it done before.' He afterwards spent ten years over 
Turner's * Ehrenbreitstein,' and contributed other plates to 
the ' Liber Studiorum.' This ' high art ' was not profitable, 
and many of his best engravings are buried in Peacock's 
' Pocket-Books ' and similar works. His pen as well as his 
pencil was well used, for in 1845 he issued 'The Patronage 
of British Art,' and was ever ready to help his brother 
artists who were struggling to succeed. 

Radclyffe, William (1796-1855), was born in Birmingham 
and apprenticed to the art of letter-cutting, but with his 
friends J. V. and Charles Barber and John Pye he deve- 
loped a taste for higher art, and commenced engraving in 
the 'line manner,' which applied to portraits, landscape, 
and all varieties of art. He engraved several of Turner's 
pictures and others by Reinagle, Copley Fielding, and 
other artists. He illustrated many books, but his best 
and best-known work was in the ' Graphic Illustrations of 
Warwickshire.' All the fine engravings were his own 
work, and he had the good taste to insist that the editor, 
Dr. Blair, should engage artists of eminence to make the 
drawings. This resulted in the choice of David Cox, 
Dewint, J. D. Harding, W. Westall, and J. V, Barber, 
all the original drawings being found, among a mass of 


146 History of Warwickshire. 

papers, some years ago, and purchased and presented to 
the Birmingham and Midland Institute, where they are 
carefully preserved. These drawings are of exceptional 
excellence and singular interest, and the engravings are of 
the very highest order of art and taste. Another series 
of examples of his best work is Roscoe's ' Wanderings 
in North and South Wales/ which are always highly 
praised and valued as among the best examples of land- 
scape art in the engravers' hands. He was active in all art 
work, and in helping to found and assist societies ; and he 
was, in fact, the father of the Birmingham and, to a large 
extent, of the later English School. Three of his sons 
followed his example, two as engravers, and one is still 
known as a landscape-painter of extensive fame. 

Willmore, J. T. (1801-1863), was born at Handsworth- 
juxta-Birmingham, and was a pupil of Radclyffe. He is 
recognised as c one of the most eminent landscape en- 
gravers of the English School, an excellent draughtsman, 
a true artist in feeling, and possessing the rarest executive 
skill.' His chief successes were his illustrations of Turner's 
works, such as ' The Fighting Temerairel ( The Golden 
Bough,' ' Ancient Italy,' and others in Turner's ' Rivers 
of France.' His ' Byron's Dream,' after Eastlake ; 'Tilbury 
Fort,' after Calcott ; ' Wind against Tide,' after Stanfield, 
are well-known examples of his genius and skill. In 1843 
he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, 
a distinction which his long series of brilliant works well 

Wyon, Thomas, jun. (1792-1817), was the son of Thomas 
Wyon, the chief engraver of 'his Majesty's seals,' and 
was born in Birmingham. His father's fame and the 
European reputation of the art of medalling, which was so 
brilliantly accomplished by Matthew Boulton and his 
artistic workers at Soho, helped to guide young Wyon to 
the pursuits which w r ere to secure him so high a place. 
When he was fourteen he was apprenticed to his father, 

Joseph Addison. 147 

and he began to engrave on steel. He won prizes at the 
Royal Academy School, and in 1809 his first medal was 
finished and his fame was secured. In 1801 he received 
an appointment at the Royal Mint, and was engaged on 
coins and tokens, but he found time for larger and more 
important works. In 1816 he brought out the new silver 
coinage, but he was not responsible for the portrait, as he 
had to follow a copy, but the ' reverse ' was left to his own 
taste and skill. In 1817 he struck the Maunday silver 
coins, the penny, twopenny, threepenny, and fourpenny 
pieces. In the same year he executed the Waterloo medal, 
which he had to engrave twice, as the first was considered 
to be too large. His last work was the medal on the 
opening of Waterloo Bridge, which was considered to be 
one of his best works. As he died when he was only 
twenty-five, the number and excellence of his works 
really within nine years show how thoroughly he had 
mastered the details of his art and how industriously he 
had laboured over his numerous productions. Symptoms 
of consumption had appeared, and although he sought rest 
and relaxation, he died in September, 1817, at Hastings, 
and was buried in the graveyard of Christ Church, South- 

AUTHORS. Among the pleasant recollections of authors 
connected with Warwickshire Joseph Addison perhaps 
deserves first mention. He was not born in the county, 
and only part of his life was spent within its boundaries, 
but it was for some years his home. Soon after his 
marriage, in 1716, with the widow of Edward Rich, sixth 
Earl of Warwick, he bought the manor of Bilton, near 
Rugby, and at Bilton Hall he passed a few peaceful years. 
The gardens were very beautiful, and a long walk of fine 
Spanish chestnuts was planted by Addison himself, and 
they grew and flourished till after the death of his daughter 
in 1797. Since that date the house ard grounds have 
known many changes, but Add ison's Walk still preserves 

IO 2 

148 History of Warwickshire. 

the memory of ' Mr. Spectator/ and his retirement from 
busy London to the scenes of rural life. 

Thomas Carte^ the historian (1686-1754), was born at 
Clifton-on-Dunsmore, near Rugby, and was educated at 
the school, since so famous. On the accession of George I. 
he refused to take the Coronation Oath, in 1715 he 
joined in the Rebellion, in 1722 he was again in 
danger, and fled to France. He returned to England 
(1728-1730), and soon after commenced his 'History of 
England,' in three folio volumes, and the fourth appeared 
after his death. His contemporaries called him the 
'historian of facts/ and he certainly spared no pains in 
his researches. 

Edward Cave (1691-1754) has long been a familiar 
name as the early friend of Samuel Johnson and the 
founder of the Gentleman's Magazine. He was born at 
Cave's Inn, near Churchover, and when nine years old was 
sent to Rugby School. A petty dispute and a harsh 
master caused him to leave the school, and on reaching 
manhood he became a clerk of Excise, but soon after went 
to London, where he bound himself as apprentice to a 
printer. At the end of his term he became a clerk in the 
post-office, and held a responsible place as clerk of the 
franks, in which office he discovered some abuses, and he 
was cited before the House of Commons, where he refused 
to break his oath of secrecy, and was discharged. His 
office enabled him to procure many country newspapers, 
and he supplied a London paper with news for a guinea 
a week. He earned some money as a ' printer's reader/ 
and in 1731 he started under the name of 'Sylvanus 
Urban' the Gentleman s Magazine, from St. John's Gate. 
Six years later Samuel Johnson began to contribute, 
and the fame of the magazine grew rapidly, and con- 
tinued for nearly one hundred and thirty-six years. His 
association with Johnson was honourable to both, and 
Johnson's sketch of the life and work of his friend is a fine 

H. F. Gary and ' George Eliot' 149 

example of excellent biography clear, vigorous, candid, 
and sincere. 

Henry Francis Gary (1772-1844) has won a more per- 
manent place in English literature than his studies and 
pursuits were likely to secure. He was born at Gibraltar, 
and in 1783 he was sent to Rugby, went two years after to 
the Grammar School of Sutton, and afterwards to that of 
Birmingham. He was a diligent and careful student, and 
made rapid progress. In 1788 he published a volume of 
' Sonnets,' and before he was out of his ' teens ' he had 
carefully studied French and Italian, as well as the classical 
tongues. He took his M.A. degree at Christ Church in 
1796, and was forthwith ordained, and soon after became 
Vicar of Abbot's Bromley, Staffordshire, where he began 
his brilliant and famous translation of ' Dante,' which he 
finished at Kingsbury, Warwickshire, in 1812. His trans- 
lation and annotations are even now, when so many have 
been made by more eminent authors, among the best 
in the language, and certainly have been most generally 
popular and most widely read. As Vicar of Kingsbury 
his stipend was but small, but he had ample leisure for 
his favourite studies, and he did much excellent work. In 
1 8 10 he removed to London, and from 1825 to 1836 he 
found welcome work and congenial pursuits as Assistant- 
Keeper of Printed Books at the British Museum. He 
was a friend of Charles Lamb, Hazlitt, De Quincey, and 
Carlyle, and he had the final honour of burial in West- 
minster Abbey by the side of Samuel Johnson. 

' Eliot, George ' (nee Mary Ann Evans), was born at 
Arbury Farm, near Nuneaton, on November 22, 1819. In 
1820 her father removed to Griff, where he was agent to 
the Newdegate estates of Arbury, near which her early life 
was passed. He was famous for his physical strength, 
energy, and skill, and his character is sketched in Adam 
Bede and Caleb Garth of his daughter's novels. His 
second wife was the original of Mrs. Poyser in * Adam 

150 History of Warwickshire. 

Bede.' Mary Ann was at school at Attleburgh, and after- 
wards at Nuneaton and Coventry, but was not remarkable 
for studious tastes till she devoted herself to reading 
Bunyan, Dr. Johnson, Charles Lamb, and Sir Walter 
Scott. In 1832 she showed a great love of music, which 
was the solace of her quiet life. After her mother's death 
she managed her father's house, held very ' Evangelical 
views ' of the stricter sort, learned Italian and German, and 
read Greek and Latin with the master of the Coventry 
school. She even doubted if it was lawful to use music 
except in strict worship, but showed much practical piety 
in forming clothing clubs, and .in other charitable works. 
Her aunt Elizabeth was a Methodist preacher, and from her 
came a story which developed into ' Adam Bede,' and her 
aunt was the original of Dinah Morris. She wrote some 
religious poems, and firmly held the orthodox faith till her 
father's removal to Foleshill, near Coventry, where she 
became a constant visitor and life-long friend of the late 
Charles Bray, of Coventry, who married the sister of 
Charles Hennell, whose ' Inquiry into the Origin of Chris- 
tianity ' was read by Mary Ann Evans, and which slowly 
altered her religious convictions and led her to form far 
wider views of the history of theological growth. On one 
of her many visits to the Brays she met Miss Brabant, 
who had undertaken the translation of Strauss's ' Leben 
Jesu ' at the suggestion of Joseph Parkes, of Birmingham, 
and Charles Hennell, who had married Miss Brabant. 
The translation was left to Mary Ann Evans, and was her 
first work. Her health was feeble, but she persevered, and 
the book was issued in 1846. After some time at Geneva 
in the house of M. d'Albert she lived for some months 
with the Brays, and in 1850 she began as a contributor to 
the Westminster Review, afterwards assistant editor, and 
lived with John Chapman and his family in London. Her 
first work with her name was Feuerbach's ' Essence of 
Christianity,' in 1854. Her interest in Auguste Comte led 

'George Eliot.' 151 

her to friendships with Herbert Spencer, J. S. Mill, Harriet 
Martineau, and G. H. Lewes, with whom in 1854 she lived 
(in Mr. Leslie Stephen's words) in the ' connection which 
she always regarded as a marriage, though without the 
legal sanction.' In 1854 they went to Weimar and Berlin, 
and met many German celebrities, and they returned to 
England in 185 5, where she continued her work for reviews 
and magazines. At Berlin she had read to Lewes ' a frag- 
ment of a description of a Staffordshire farmhouse,' in 
which Lewes saw so much dramatic power that he urged 
her to try a novel, and the first part of ' Amos Barton ' 
appeared in Blackwootfs Magazine in January, 1857, fol- 
lowed by 'Mr. Gilfil's Love-Story,' 'Janet's Repentance,' 
' Adam Bede,' and ' Scenes from Clerical Life.' Warwick- 
shire readers who knew the neighbourhood of Nuneaton 
had no doubt about the real ' George Eliot ' from the 
numerous local descriptions of persons and places. Arbury 
Hall was the ' Cheverel Manor,' and Mrs. Poyser's * farm- 
house' near Corley remains unchanged, with its two griffins 
on the gate-posts, its clipped yews on the lawn, and its 
double row of walnut-trees behind. Astley Church and 
the moated castle were identified as ' Knebley Church,' 
' Milby ' with Nuneaton, and Chilvers Coton with ' Shep- 
perton.' ' Milby ' was the corn-mill at Nuneaton, the ' Red 
Lion ' in the same town is the Bull Hotel, and ' Orchard 
Street ' is Church Street. ' Paddiford Common ' is Stock- 
ingford ; and ' Silas Marner,' ' Felix Holt,' and ' Middle- 
march ' all owe most of their local colour as to persons and 
places from the neighbourhood of Nuneaton, which is 
especially * George Eliot's Country,' with the impressions, 
indelible and graphic, of her early life. It is curious that 
Coventry contributed so little, but she saw it later in life ; 
and her tastes and feelings were more with people and 
incidents rather than old city life and scenes. ' Rufus 
Lyon,' however, in 'Felix Holt ' is well remembered as a 
local worthy, and ( Esther Lyon ' is largely an autobio- 

152 History of Warwickshire. 

graphic portrait. The election riot was a scene in Coventry 
in 1832, which Mary Ann Evans saw when a girl of 
thirteen, and which evidently made a permanent impres- 
sion, for she reproduced nearly every detail. The larger 
number of her characters and her first three stories were of 
Warwickshire origin, and only those who knew the people 
or are familiar with the scenes can realize the graphic skill 
and dramatic power of her artistic realism. Her later life 
was romantic in one incident, for in 1867 Herbert Spencer 
had introduced ' George Eliot ' to Mrs. Cross and her son ; 
and in 1869 they met in Rome; also after the death of 
Lewes in 1878 ; and in 1880 she was married to Mr. J. W. 
Cross in May. After a Continental tour they returned to 
London, and on December 18 of the same year 'George 
Eliot ' died at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. Mr. Leslie Stephen 
(' Diet. Nat. Biog.,' s.v.) ' Cross,' thus briefly sums up her 
character and work : 

* Where the philosophic reflectiveness widens her horizon and 
strengthens her insight, without prompting to excessive didacticism, 
her novels stand in the very first rank. In her own peculiar province 
no contemporary equalled or approached her power and charm ; while 
even the comparative failures reveal a mind of extraordinary grasp 
and perceptive faculty.' 

William Field (Rev.), of Warwick (1768-1851), was an 
author of marked ability, and especially as an historian. 
His mother was one of the last two lineal descendants of 
Cromwell who bore the name. He was a Dissenter as 
to training and convictions, and in 1789 he became pastor 
of the Unitarian Church at Warwick, and occupied the 
pulpit for fifty-four years. He was a friend of Dr. Priestley 
(during his residence in Birmingham, 1780-1791), till his 
departure from England, and Priestley had conducted the 
ordination services of the young minister (Dr. Parr, of 
Hatton, being present as a spectator of the ceremonial), 
and ever afterwards was on most friendly terms with his 
young neighbour, whom he described as 'a dwarf in stature, 

Rev. W. Field, Mary Ann Gallon. 153 

but a giant in literature.' In his later years Field was 
one of the founders of the Public Library at Warwick, and 
although an earnest and eloquent controversialist, he lived 
in peace with the clergy of the neighbourhood. His prin- 
cipal literary works were ' The History of the Town and 
Castle of Warwick' (1815) and 'Memoirs of the Life of 
Dr. Parr' (1826), in both of which elaborate research, 
patient care, and untiring industry were shown. * The 
History of Warwick Town and Castle ' has not been super- 
seded, and is accurate and authoritative, and ' The Life of 
Dr. Parr ' is a worthy and faithful summary of the general 
learning, and classical knowledge, and social life of the 
famous Greek scholar and Vicar of Hatton. 

Mary Anne Gallon, afterwards Mrs. Schimmelpenninck 
(1778-1856), was the daughter of Samuel Galton, F.R.S., 
and was born in Birmingham, where the family had come 
from Dorsetshire and Somersetshire about 1730. They 
were members of the Society of Friends, and Miss Galton 
belonged to the same society till some years before her 
death. The social position of her family and their scientific 
and literary tastes attracted the principal scientific and 
literary celebrities of the time, and these influences soon 
developed and matured a more than ordinary mind. In 
1806 she married Mr. Schimmelpenninck, a Dutch mer- 
chant, of Bristol, who died in 1840. Her early life and 
surroundings led to very liberal and tolerant opinions as 
to the search for truth in theology and politics, and she 
was for some time a Methodist and afterwards a Moravian. 
Her several works show how varied were her tastes, and 
all of them are marked by originality and independence, 
and no little taste and skill. They were, ' Memoirs of Port 
Royal,' 3 vols. (1826), 'Theory of the Classification of 
Beauty and Deformity' ([815), and essays on * The Tem- 
peraments,' and on ' Gothic and Grecian Architecture/ etc. 
(1820). The details of her life and of the literary, scientific, 
and famous public men she knew are singularly interesting, 

154 History of Warwickshire. 

and Hankin's * Life ' of her is a curiously vigorous and 
valuable record of facts not obtainable elsewhere. 

Philemon Holland (1551-1636) is one of the worthies of 
Warwickshire whose name and fame have long been known. 
He was facetiously called by Fuller the 'Translator 
Generall,' from his numerous works of that class. Although 
born at Chelmsford in 1 55 1, he became a citizen of Coventry 
in 1612, and was a 'sworn freeman'; and on the visit of 
James I. in 1617 he was chosen by the recorder to address 
the king, which he did in a long and elaborate speech, and 
in ' a suit of black satin, the cost of which was 11 is. I id.' 
In 1628, at the age of 77, he was appointed headmaster of 
the Free School at Coventry, where he had been usher for 
twenty years. Like many of the clergy of his time, he 
studied medicine, and graduated M.D. at Cambridge. He 
held his appointment less than a year, when age and in- 
firmity obliged him to resign. His last years were passed 
in poverty and distress ; but he was highly esteemed, and 
the Common Council Book of 1632, October 23, records : 

' Forasmuch as Dr. Holland, by reason of his age, is now growne 
weake and decaied in his estate, and being a man of good deserts in 
respect of the abilities wherewith God hath endowed him : this house, 
taking him into consideracon, are pleased and agreed that there shall 
be three pounds six shillings and eight pence given him from hence- 
forth on the 24th October for three yeres, if he shall so long live.' 

And as he had also 'some benevolence' from his old 
University, he probably was not allowed to starve. He 
died in 1636, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, 
where a monumental slab with a quaint and quibbling 
Latin inscription, composed by himself, records his memory. 
Among his many works were a translation of Camden's 
' Britannia,' with additions ' not found in the original ' ; 
Plutarch's 'Morals'; Xenophon's ' Cyropaedia ' ; Pliny's 
' Natural History ' ; Suetonius, and Livy, in which last- 
named he took great pride, as the whole was written with 
one pen, concerning which he wrote the lines : 

The Holyoke Family. 155 

'With one sole pen I wrote this book, 

Made of a grey goose-quill ; 
A pen it was when it I took, 
A pen I leave it still.' 

'This monumental pen,' says Fuller, 'he solemnly kept, 
and showed to my reverend tutor, Dr. Samuel Ward. It 
seems he leaned very lightly on the nib thereof, though 
weightily enough in another sense, performing not slightly, 
but solidly, what he undertook.' His only surviving son 
(of seven), Henry Holland, became a bookseller in London, 
and was the editor of that rare and valuable collection of 
lives and portraits, ' Hero-ologia Anglicana' from 1509 
to 1620 a series of sixty-five fine portraits, many of which 
have never been re-engraved nor even copied since. 

The Holyoke family three generations are far less 
honoured than their works deserve. Francis Holyoke, who 
Latinized himself into * De Sacra Quercu/ was born at 
Nether Whitacre, near Coleshill, in 1567. He studied at 
Queen's College, Oxford, and seems not to have taken a 
degree, but to have taught a school first at Oxford, and 
afterwards in his native county, where he became Rector of 
Southam in 1604. I n tne fi rst Y ear f Charles I. he was 
elected a member of the Convocation of the Clergy, and 
he suffered severely in the Civil War for his devotion to 
the royal cause. He died in 1653, and was buried in St. 
Mary's Church at Warwick. His chief claim to remem- 
brance is the Latin- English Dictionary which he compiled 
and published in 1606 a revised and enlarged edition of 
Rider's Dictionary, of which Fuller humorously says : 

' This Rider did borrow (to say no worse) both his saddle and bridle 
from Thomas Thomatius, who, being bred Fellow of King's College in 
Cambridge, set forth that Dictionary known by his name ; than which 
Men have not a better and truer, Children no plainer and briefer. But 
Rider, after Thomas's death, set forth his Dictionary, the same in 
effect, under his own Name, the property thereof being little disguised 
by any Additions.' 

The Holyoke Dictionary is a wonderful work for a quiet 

156 History of Warwickshire. 

country rector in a small place to have compiled two 
centuries ago, and it is curious and even useful now, 
although practically superseded by the countless Latin- 
English dictionaries of later days. It was so useful and 
so popular that a fourth edition was issued in 1633. 
Holyoke's son, Thomas, made many and valuable additions 
to his father's work, but died before its publication, and it 
was edited by his son Charles, and published as a folio in 
1677, and dedicated to Fulke, Lord Brooke. This Thomas 
Holyoke was born at Stoneythorpe, near Southam, in 1616, 
and educated at Coventry and at Queen's College, Oxford, 
where he graduated M.A., and became chaplain of the 
college. When Oxford was garrisoned for the king he 
was captain of a foot company, chiefly of undergraduates, 
for which service he received the degree of D.D. at the 
king's express desire. For some time he practised medicine 
successfully in Warwickshire and until the Restoration, 
when he was preferred to the Rectory of Whitnash, near 
Leamington, and afterwards to a living in Hampshire, but 
he died soon after in 1675. His son, Henry Holyoke, was 
born in 1657, and probably in Warwickshire. He began 
life as a chorister of Magdalen College, Oxford ; then 
became a scholar, and in 1678 took the B.A. degree, and 
became clerk and sub-librarian in 1676, and chaplain in 
1681. In 1687 he was made headmaster of Rugby School, 
and held the office till his death in 1730. ' It seems to be 
universally maintained that he treated the boy Edward 
Cave with unnecessary harshness (which led to Cave's 
removal from the school) by habitually oppressing him 
with unreasonable tasks ;' but, generally, he seems to have 
managed the school successfully, and to have increased its 
reputation. He died at Rugby, and was buried in St. 
Mary's, Warwick, where a Latin epitaph, from his own 
pen, commemorates his father and grandfather, as well as 
himself. His forty-four years of rule at Rugby were 
eventful, for he had only 6$ 6s. 8d. income for the 

William Hutton. 157 

school, and yet was the first to appoint an assistant- 
master, and in other ways to advance the interests of the 
school. He seems to have been a bachelor, for his sister 
Judith 'kept house,' and his will left her a legacy on the 
express ground that she had been 'very serviceable and 
seemingly kind ' to the boys. An odd glimpse into the 
domestic arrangements of Rugby School at that time is 
that this master, in his will, left the * large sum of 30 to 
the daughter of Widow Harris,' his ' tripe-woman/ who 
seems to have been a popular caterer in the days when 
Rugby had no playground, and probably the boys of that 
period (says the author of * Public Schools ') * had only the 
tombstones of the churchyard for their leap-frog and hide- 

William Button (1723-1814), although born in Derby- 
shire, was practically a Warwickshire man so far as author- 
ship is concerned, for nearly all his long life was passed in 
Birmingham. His life, from his own narrative and the 
additions of his daughter, is too familiar to readers generally 
to require any details here. * The Hutton Family,' edited 
by the late Llewellyn Jewitt, is a thoroughly delightful 
summary of facts about the men and manners of the middle 
of the last century, and is well worth reading from its 
frank and charming naivete 'as to the incidents of Hutton's 
own life. The first and most important work of Hutton's 
pen was his * History of Birmingham,' which he issued in 
1781. If measured by the modern standard, it is scarcely 
to be called ' history ' ; but it is a most readable and 
amusing work. He had not the knowledge nor the leisure 
to look out the facts of history, and was far too ready to 
speculate in all sorts of etymologies of names of places. 
He considered himself an ' antiquary,' and yet he not only 
took no trouble to collect and preserve, but he confesses 
that he used up large quantities of the remains of the 
Priory at Birmingham in a cellar, although they were 
mostly of ' the Gothic manner.' He has even neglected to 

158 History of Warwickshire. 

record many of the facts of his own times which would 
have been of the utmost interest and value now. His work 
is, however, full of interest, most readable, and often highly 
amusing from the quaintness of his style. He also wrote 
a 'History of Blackpool' (1788), a 'History of Derby' 
(1791), the ' Battle of Bosworth Field ' (1788), the ' History 
of the Roman Wall ' (i8oi),all being more or less historical 
in form, and trustworthy as far as his own knowledge would 
allow. Many of his miscellaneous works are also well 
worth reading even now, as they are full of keen observa- 
tions, vigorous descriptions, quaint, but sometimes rough, 
humour, and out-of-the-way facts as to his travels and 
adventures. One of his works, the ' Court of Requests/ is 
original and dramatic all through. He was one of the 
Commissioners in the Court of Requests at Birmingham 
the forerunner of our County Courts and the court [him- 
self] not only 'hears the causes and adjudicates/ but records 
its own proceedings, with descriptions of the litigants, 
in a most amusing style. His ( Autobiography/ with its 
recollections of the cruel treatment in his early days, its 
pictures of old customs and manners, its graphic sketches 
of his own failures and successes, has sometimes a pathetic, 
and always a most attractive, interest. He enjoyed almost 
unbroken health nearly to his death, at the age of ninety- 
two, and his industry, and intelligence, and energy will 
keep his memory green for many a year. 

Catherine Hutton, his daughter (1756-1846), was also an 
author, and between 1815 and 1819 she published several 
novels in the regulation three-volume form ' The Miser 
Married/ ' Oakwood Hall,' and ' The Welsh Mountaineers ' 
and also contributed some sixty articles to various 
periodicals. One original and curious paper was her sketch 
of the life of her father's old friend Robert Bage (himself 
an author of several novels of much note in their day) to 
the Edinburgh edition of the 'Lives of the Novelists/ 
She also edited an edition (fourth, in 1819) of her father's 

Walter Savage Landor. 159 

* History of Birmingham/ with some valuable additions, 
and in 1821 she compiled from general sources 'A Tour in 
Africa,' in three volumes a complete and useful summary 
of all that was then known. Her greatest pride was, how- 
ever, her large collection of autograph letters, fashion 
plates, costumes, etc., which she continued persistently to 
gather for nearly seventy years. As a history of dress 
for she had not merely collected, but had annotated with 
names, dates, and descriptions her collection was unique. 
Her holograph letters numbered more than three thousand, 
many of the greatest historical interest. Like her father, 
she retained her faculties and lively manners to the very 
last, and died, aged ninety, eight months after the death of 
her only brother, Thomas Hutton, who had collected a vast 
number of fine engravings, and valuable, rare and costly 

Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) was for many years 
regarded as one of the great English classics, representing 
the form and style of the old ' classic ' authors. His works 
are less talked of and less read and appreciated than they 
were a few years since ; but they are still ranked among 
the most scholarly productions of his day. He was born at 
a large house adjoining the East Gate, Warwick, where his 
father was an eminent physician ; and in 1785 he was at 
Rugby School, but removed for some insubordination or 
other offence to the headmaster, for which he expressed 
his regret in his later life. At Trinity College, Cambridge, 
his animal spirits and recklessness again brought him into 
trouble, and he was rusticated for firing a gun in the 
quadrangle of the college, and never returned to take a 
degree. His erratic temperament unfitted him for the 
legal profession, and he went to live at Swansea and 
Tenby on an allowance from his father. As he had too 
much of the ' noble savage ' in his nature to be content 
with civilized life, he went in 1808 to Galicia and raised a 
few troops at his own cost, but soon quarrelled with his 

160 History of Warwickshire. 

superiors, and declared that, ' although willing to aid the 
Spanish people in the assertion of their liberties against 
the antagonists of Europe, he would have nothing to do 
with a perjurer and traitor.' After the death of his father 
he retained Ipsley Court, Warwickshire, and purchased 
Llanthony Abbey (which he once proposed to restore), 
and lived chiefly at Bath and Clifton. His restlessness 
and waywardness soon broke out again. He quarrelled 
with his neighbours and tenants, and in 1814 he went to 
live on the Continent, and commenced the work by which 
he is best known to the literary world, the ' Imaginary 
Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen,' which was 
published in 1824. This work, from its dramatic vigour, 
fine personifications, and brilliant language (of the ' classic ' 
style), was received with great honours, and still holds a 
high place in English literature ; but the fashions have 
changed, and it has now scarcely full justice from the 
reading public. He returned to Bath about 1835, but in 
1858 he settled in Florence, devoted his life to literature 
and art, became famous in the English circle, and he died 
there in 1864. Dr. Parr considered him one of the best 
Latin scholars of his time, and his poems 'Gebir' and 
c Count Julian ' showed brilliant powers. His irascible 
temper and his courteous manners, his generous instincts 
and his impetuous words, formed a strange mixture ; and 
although he had the greatest contempt for social ob- 
servances, he secured a large circle of life-long and 
admiring friends. 

Mark Noble (1754-1827) has secured far more than local 
fame as an antiquary and historiographer. He was born in 
Birmingham in 1754, and was the son of a merchant, who 
was taught the art of writing by John Baskerville, the 
famous typefounder and printer, who began his life in Bir- 
mingham as a ' writing-master,' and whose slate window- 
slab or sign still exists, with the inscription 'Grave- Stones 
Cut in any of the Hands by John Baskervill, Writing- 

Mark Noble. 161 

Master,' all the letters and floriations being forecasts of the 
type which was 'to astonish the librarians of Europe' some 
years later. On the death of his father, who had left him 
a small fortune, Mark Noble was anxious to take holy 
orders, but was at last persuaded to be articled to a 
solicitor ; and he commenced business on his own account, 
but thought more of literature than law, and began his 
' Memoirs of the House of Cromwell/ and spent much time 
and travel and money in collecting materials. In 1781 he 
was ordained and appointed to the curacies of Baddesley 
Clinton and Packwood, and on the death of the incumbent 
he was presented to the two livings or ' starvations,' as he 
called them. Having married, he took a house at Knowle, 
dividing his interest between his flock, his books, and a 
farm. During his residence at Knowle his work, the 
' Cromwell Memoirs,' introduced him to the Earl of Sand- 
wich, who invited him to visit him with a view to a new 
edition ; and he passed much time at Hinchinbroke. His 
next workj the ' History of the College of Arms,' was dedi- 
cated to Lord Leicester, afterwards Marquis of Townsend, 
and the two noblemen induced Lord Thurlow to give 
Noble the rectorship of Barming in Kent, in 1786. There 
he lived for forty-two years, and there his later works were 
written. Among them were : ' Two Dissertations on the 
Mint and Coins of the Episcopal Palatine of Durham' 
(1780), ' Genealogical History of the Royal Families of 
Europe' (1781, and another edition in 1787), 'Historical 
Genealogy of the House of Steward' (1795),'* Memoirs of 
the House of Medici,' ' Lives of English Regicides' (1798), 
' History of the College of Arms ' (1805), and many other 
papers in Arckczologia, etc. He had formed a fine library, 
and had collected a large number of MSS., many of which 
were sold by auction after his death at Barming in 1827, in 
the seventy-third year of his age ; but some of the collec- 
tions and manuscripts were retained by his descendants, 
id are probably still in private hands. 


1 62 History of Warwickshire. 

Samuel Parr, LL.D. (1747-1825), is too well known as 
the great Greek scholar of his time to need many descrip- 
tive details. He was born at Harrow, and was the son of 
an apothecary who had spent his fortune on the Young 
Pretender. When six years old he was at Harrow School, 
and was removed at fourteen to help his father in his busi- 
ness ; but he so persistently followed his classical studies 
that he was entered as a student at Emmanuel College, 
Cambridge. He left without taking a degree, and was soon 
after appointed assistant-master at Harrow School. He 
failed to secure the headmastership at Harrow, and opened 
a private academy at Stanmore, but left it in 1776, and 
afterwards became the master of the Grammar School at 
Colchester, and curate of Holy Trinity Church. In 1783 
he was instituted to the perpetual curacy of Hatton, near 
Warwick, which he held till his death in 1825. His 
admiration of Charles James Fox led him to many contro- 
versial pamphlets ; but his works were generally classical 
and critical, and they were collected and published by his 
literary executor, Dr. Johnstone, in eight large volumes, 
which are quite out of fashion now. The sale of his great 
library excited much interest, and the catalogue is still in- 
teresting ; but his voluminous works are now rarely referred 
to, and still more rarely read. ' Dr. Parr at Hatton ' was, 
however, a great celebrity, famous personally and socially 
for very many years. 

Joseph Priestley, LL.D., has been so long and so widely 
known as associated with Birmingham that his name may 
be expected in any record of Warwickshire authors. His 
residence in the county was, however, only brief from 
1780 to 1791 ; and even during that period he made none 
of his wonderful discoveries, nor wrote any of his impor- 
tant works, the principal book published during his residence 
in Birmingham being his ' History of the Corruptions of 
Christianity' (1782). He was frequently engaged in con- 
troversies of some sort even with his immediate neighbours, 

Dr. Priestley, John Rous. 163 

but he managed to live in peace and goodwill with all. 
Among his local friends and frequent associates were Dr. 
Parr (the Churchman), Rev. J. Berington (the Roman 
Catholic), Rev. J. Proud (the Swedenborgian), Galton (the 
Quaker), Watt (the Presbyterian), and ' all sorts and condi- 
tions of men.' It was only on a sort of side-issue, in which 
he took no part, that the digraceful riots of 1791 the cry 
of ' Church and King' were supported, if not instigated, 
by fanatics ; and the town and the age were disgraced by 
the destruction of Priestley's house, laboratory, books, 
apparatus, and records (the results of many years' re- 
searches), his life was threatened, and his neighbours' 
houses destroyed. Some sort of reparation has been made 
to his memory by the erection of a statue (celebrating the 
centenary of his discovery of oxygen) in the heart of the 
town where he lived for eleven years, and whence he was 
driven by political intolerance and wild mob-law. 

Rous, John (died 1491), was one of the early and notable 
authors connected with Warwickshire, not only by birth, 
but by residence and work. According to Dugdale, he 
was descended from the Rous family of Brinklow ; but 
Leland assigns him to the Rous family of Ragley, near 
Alcester. He was born at Warwick in the reign of 
Edward IV. (1460-1483), and received his early education 
there ; but afterwards went to Oxford, where he greatly 
distinguished himself by his extensive learning. On 
leaving the University he became one of the chantry- 
priests at the still picturesque and romantic Guy's Clifif, 
where he wrote several of his works, one of which, the 
' Chronicon de Regibus Angiiae,' has long been accepted as 
authoritative, and others on the history and antiquities of 
Warwickshire. He erected a library over the south porch 
of St. Mary's, Warwick, to which he bequeathed his 
writings ; but even in Dugdale's time these had disap- 
peared, and only a fine heraldic roll of the Earls of 
Warwick, in his own handwriting, with portraits and 

II 2 

164 History of Warwickshire. 

' arms/ has been preserved, and printed, forming a very 
valuable record, historical, genealogical, and heraldic. 
Rous died at Guy's Cliff in 1491, and was buried in St. 
Mary's Church, Warwick. His monument, and even its 
site, cannot now be traced ; but a brass plate records the 
memory of one of his relatives, ' Thomas Rous, of Rous 
Lench, in the county of Worcester, who died on the 9th of 
September, 1645.' 

BISHOPS. Warwickshire has had a larger number of 
prelates than is generally known, who either by birth or 
residence or works have been associated with the county 
during the past three hundred years. 

John Bird, D.D. ( - 15 58), was born at Coventry, and 
was educated as a Carmelite at Oxford, and of that order 
he was the Provincial, and managed its affairs from 1516 
to 1519. He was appreciated as a preacher by Henry VIII. , 
as he earnestly impugned the primacy of the Pope, and 
was despatched by the King to Catherine of Arragon in 
T 535) to persuade her to abjure the title of queen. In 
1539 he was sent on an embassy to Germany with Dr. 
Wotton, to interview Ann of Cleves, but he afterwards 
signed the decree for her divorce. In 1541 he became 
Bishop of Chester; in 1544 he ordained Edmund Grindal, 
afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury ; and in the reign of 
Mary he returned to the Roman Church, but lost his 
bishopric through his marriage. In 1554 Bonner appointed 
him his Suffragan, and gave him the Vicarage of Dunmow, 
Essex, where he died in obscurity in 1558. He was a 
thorough temporizer, and constantly engaged in State 
intrigues. He said in repudiating his wife, that ' he had 
married her against his will,' and 'for bearing with the 
time;' but he afterwards showed so much penitence for 
his sin that he seems to have softened even the heart 
of Bonner. He wrote several works, but none were 

Samuel Butler, D.D. (1774-1839), was born at Kenil worth, 

Bishops Butler and Compton. 165 

was sent to Rugby, and afterwards to Cambridge, to St. 
John's College, where he showed great tastes for classical 
studies, and won honours and prizes. In 1798 he was 
appointed, soon after his ordination and marriage, to the 
headmastership of Shrewsbury School, which had long 
been neglected. On his arrival he found one boy, the 
buildings almost in ruins, and the school funds in Chancery; 
but his ability and energy soon raised the school to great 
eminence, and he remained master for thirty-eight years. 
In 1802 he became Vicar of Kenilworth, and in 1836 he 
was appointed Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. While 
Archdeacon of Derby he accomplished a work which he 
originated, and which few have followed, for he left his 
successors elaborate details and careful drawings of all the 
churches in his archdeaconry. Of si sic omnial His 
school life allowed him scanty leisure, but he prepared his 
long well-known Geography and his ancient and modern 
Atlases, which stood alone for many years as excellent 
works, and have only recently been superseded by the 
advance of geographical science and the improvements in 
the cartographic art He governed the school with a firm 
but gentle hand, acquired, as he deserved, a great moral 
and social influence over the boys, and well deserved the 
esteem and honour which marked his later years. 

Henry Compton, D. D. (1632-1713), was one of the Warwick- 
shire family of Compton Wynyates the most romantic and 
picturesque house in Warwickshire where he was born in 
1632. From Queen's College, Oxford, he travelled abroad, 
and on his return he joined the Horse Guards, but after- 
wards took his M.A. degree at Cambridge. In 1667 he was 
Master of the Hospital of St. Cross at Winchester, and 
after his D.D. degree became a Canon of Christ Church, 
and in 1674 Bishop of Oxford. Charles II. entrusted his 
two nieces, the Princesses Mary and Anne, to his care, and 
both were married by him professionally, of course. He 

td to effect a union of Protestants, and he consulted 

1 66 - History of Warwickshire. 

many foreign divines, but without success, and his earnest 
Protestant opinions caused his dismissal from the deanery 
of the Chapel Royal when James II. became King. He 
was even suspended from his bishopric by a royal mandate, 
and the Princess of Orange interceded in vain, till the 
Prince of Orange was expected in England, when the King 
removed the suspension, and the Bishop sided with the 
Prince. His first act in the Revolution was to safeguard 
the Princess Anne of Denmark on her way from London 
to Nottingham, when his old military ardour was aroused, 
and he laid down mitre and staff, and preceded the carriage 
of the Princess in 'a buff coat and jack-boots, with pistols 
in his holsters and a sword by his side.' The body-guard 
of gentlemen, who were volunteers in this escort, ' invited 
the Bishop to act as their colonel, and he consented with 
an alacrity which gave great scandal to rigid Churchmen, 
and did not much raise his character even in the opinion 
of Whigs.' After this personal service it was reasonable 
that the Bishop should crown William and Mary, and be 
1 the only prelate who accompanied William to the Hague 
in 1691.' He was one of the Royal Commissioners for the 
Revision of the Liturgy, and he laboured to reconcile 
Dissenters to the Church. He died in 1713, and was 
buried in the churchyard of Fulham, in strict accordance 
with his own instructions and opinion that 'the Church 
was for the living and the churchyard for the dead.' His 
literary works are not numerous, nor very important, but 
he translated ' The Life of Donna Olympia Maldacchini ' 
from the Italian, also Lortie's ' Traite de la Sainte Cene ' 
from the French, and his ' Episcopalia ' to his clergy have 
had life enough to be reprinted as late as 1842. He was a 
friend to men of letters generally ; he even believed in and 
helped that arch-impostor, George Psalmanazar, the hero 
of Formosa. He kept his grounds at Fulham in excellent 
and tasteful order, and devoted much time to botany 
especially to exotics and Ray in his ' History of Plants ' 

Smalbroke and Sumner. 167 

makes special reference to fifteen rare plants in Compton's 
garden, and Petiver engraved many specimens from the 
Bishop's garden. 

Richard Smalbroke, D.D. (1672-1749), was born at Bir- 
mingham, where his ancestors had lived for several genera- 
tions, holding much landed property, and one street still 
bears the family name. He was probably educated at 
King Edward's School, but went to Magdalen College, 
Oxford, and took his B.A. degree in 1682, his D.D. in 
1708, and became a Fellow of the college. He was ap- 
pointed Chaplain to Archbishop Tenison, and rose 
through Treasurer of Llandaff, and Canon Residentiary of 
Hereford, where he held what was called 'the golden 
prebend,' to be Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry in 1731. 
He is described as a * prelate of the ordinary Hanoverian 
type, a fair scholar, and a learned, though not profound, 
controversialist.' He wished infidels prosecuted by law, 
lest, among other presumably minor evils, they should 
bring in popery ; and in his ' Vindication of Christ's 
Miracles,' in answer to Woolston, he won much ridicule, 
by an unlucky calculation that six thousand evil spirits 
(a legion) to one man was mercifully exchanged for three 
apiece ' to each hog ' ; but on the whole he replied to 
Woolston, who had provoked the controversy, ' with very 
sufficient sense and considerable learning.' He wrote 
various sermons, some pamphlets, and episcopal charges 
(one of which was criticised by Warburton in 1741), died 
in 1749, and was buried in Lichfield Cathedral, where a 
monument, * suitable apparently to the taste of the time,' 
was erected to his memory. 

John Bird Sumner, D.D. (1780-1862), born at Kenil- 
worth, where his father was Vicar, was not only a Bishop 
of eminence, but rose to Archiepiscopal rank. After some 
time at Eton he went to King's College, Cambridge, in 
1798, and after taking his B.A. degree in 1802, he was 
appointed assistant master at Eton in the following year. 

1 68 History of Warwickshire. 

In 1807 he was installed as one of the ' golden ' Prebends 
of Durham, and in 1828 the Duke of Wellington nomi- 
nated him to the Bishopric of Chester, ' with the view of 
conciliating the Protestant party/ when the Roman 
Catholic emancipation contest was the subject of much 
strife. The first vote of the new Bishop in the House of 
Lords was in favour of the repeal of the Test and Cor- 
poration Acts, and of Roman Catholic emancipation, and 
afterwards in favour of the Reform Bill, for which he 
gave a silent vote. On the death of Archbishop Howley, 
Dr. Sumner, who had worked hard at Chester, was chosen 
as Archbishop of Canterbury. He was an earnest and 
active Archbishop and generally popular. He died at 
Addington, and was buried in the churchyard there in 

John Vesey, alias Harman, D.C.L. (1452-1555), was more 
emphatically, both by birth and residence, a Warwickshire 
worthy, for he was born and died in the county, and 
lavished gifts upon his native town, Sutton Coldfield, during 
the whole of his long life. His father was William Harman, 
but the Bishop adopted the name of Veize or Vesey, which 
he seems to have held to be the orignal name of the 
family, although ' Harman ' had been used for several 
generations. Thomas Fuller is more than usually facetious 
in his description of this famous prelate. He says : 

' He was born at Sutton Colefield, educated at Oxford : a most 
vivacious person if the date of these remarks be seriously considered : 
(i) In the twentieth year of King Henry VI. he was appointed to 
celebrate the Divine Service in the Free Chappell of St. Blase, of Sutton 
aforesaid. (2) In the twenty-third year of Henry VII. he was made 
Vicar of Saint Michael's Church in Coventry. (3) Under King Henry 
VIII. he was made Dean of the Chappell, tutor to the Lady Mary, 
and President of Wales. (4) In the eleventh of King Henry VIIL, 
1 519, he was advanced to be Bishop of Exeter. Which Bishoprick he 
destroyed, not onely shaving the hairs (with long leases), but cutting 
away the limbs with sales outright, in so much that Bishop Hall, his 
successor in that See, complaineth in print, that the following Bishops 
were Barons, but Bare-ones indeed. Some have confidently affirmed 

Bishop Vesey. 1 69 

in my hearing that the word to veize (that is, in the west, to drive 
away with a witness) had its originall from his profligating of the lands 
of his Bishoprick ; but I yet demurre to the truth hereof. He robbed 
his own Cathedrall to pay a Parish Church, Sutton, in this county 
[Warwick], where he was born, whereon he bestowed many benefac- 
tions, and built fifty-one houses. To inrich this his native town he 
brought out of Devonshire many clothiers, with desire and hope to fix 
the manufacture of cloathing there. All in vaine ; for as Bishop 
Godwin observeth, " Non omnis fert omnia tellus" Which, though 
true conjunctively, that all countrys put together bring forth all things 
to be mutually bartered by a reciprocation of trade, is false disjunc- 
tively, no one place affording all commodities, so that the cloath- 
workers here had their pains for their labour, and sold for their lost. 
It seems, though, he brought out of Devon-shire the fiddle and fiddle- 
stick ; he brought not the rosen therewith to make good musick ; and 
every country is innated with a peculiar genius, and is left-handed to 
those trades which are against their inclinations. He quitted his 
Bishoprick (not worth keeping) in the reign of Edward VI. ; and no 
wonder that he resumed it not in the reign of Queen Mary, the bone 
not being worth the taking, the marrow being knocked out before. He 
died (being 103 years old) in the reign of Queen Mary, and was buried 
in his native town, with his statue mitred and vested.' 

' John Harman ' was elected a Fellow of Magdalen 
College, Oxford, in 1487, and with the same name was 
Vicar of St. Michael's, Coventry, in 1507. In 1509 he 
became Dean of Exeter and also of Windsor and Wolver- 
hampton, in accordance with the pluralist practices of those 
times. He was admitted as a Brother of the Corpus 
Christ! Gild of Coventry, and his name remained on the 
books till 1518, but about two years later he resigned his 
Coventry holdings, and was appointed Bishop of Exeter by 
Henry VIIL, who had formed a high opinion of his busi- 
ness habits and general good manners. In the early years 
of his episcopate he passed most of his time in his diocese, 
but he afterwards left the care of it to ' grand vicars and 
coadjutor Bishops,' and incurred the censure of Latimer. 
In 1533 he officiated at the consecration of Cranmer, and 
was on the King's side in ' the Divorce of Catherine, in the 
supremacy, and in the Dissolution of the Monasteries.' In 
fact, in Mr. Colvile's words, ( the obsequious prelate went 

170 History of Warwickshire. 

all lengths/ and 'was, in truth, a perfect courtier,' rather 
than a Christian Bishop. It is claimed for him that, 
although he certainly alienated many of the possessions of 
the See, he had always the ' express command and requisi- 
tion of the Sovereign under the Privy Seal/ and as Mr. 
Colvile adds : ' Probably if he and his Chapter had been 
restive, and had refused to sacrifice a portion to the royal 
demands, the whole would have been snatched from them.' 
On the accession of Edward VI., Bishop Vesey was sus- 
pected of aiding or fomenting a rebellion in Devonshire 
against the Protestant cause, and was peremptorily ordered 
by the Privy Council to surrender his See to the King, 
which he duly did, and was allowed a pension of 
495 93. 3d. He retired to his own town and con- 
tinued his benefactions. He obtained the incorporation, 
and Sutton became a royal town. He gave the Chase, 
Park and Manor in trust to the inhabitants for the use of 
the poor, and the sports of the field. He built two aisles to 
the Parish Church, gave an organ, and built the Town Hall 
and Market Place. He built fifty-two houses, most of 
which were to be rent-free to workers in woollen kersey, as 
made in Devonshire. He founded and endowed a Gram- 
mar School, gave a meadow for the support of poor 
widows, and paved the whole town ; and he built two fine 
bridges (one of which still remains, with fragments of old 
buildings used up in its walls) at Water Orton and Curd- 
worth, over the river Tame. Among other benefactions 
he provided, to encourage marriages, that four poor women, 
of good character, born or resident in Sutton, should have 
five pounds each on their marriage, and that sum has now 
risen to twenty - five pounds, and is dispensed by the 
Warden and Corporation every year. All the gifts did 
little to increase the population or the interests of the town, 
but greater progress has recently been made by residents 
from Birmingham, in the neighbourhood of the fine Sutton 
Park (3,500 acres), near which numerous villas have been 

Edward Willes. 171 

built ; and the town has recently received a Charter of In- 
corporation, and has now a Mayor and Corporation. The 
aged Bishop was restored to his See by Queen Mary, and 
passed two months at Exeter, but early in 1554 he re- 
turned to Moor Hall, near Sutton, where he died suddenly 
in 1555, at an advanced age whether 93 or 103 is not 
certainly known ; but the inscription on his monument 
states 103. He was a princely prelate, and lived and 
travelled in great state, his retinue being one hundred and 
forty men, in scarlet caps and gowns. His effigy repre- 
sents him in the episcopal vestments worn before the 
Reformation, with the mitre and pastoral crook. 

Edward Willes, D.D. (1693-1773), was another of the 
Warwickshire-born Bishops, and he was born at Bishop's 
Itchington, where his father was Rector. He entered 
Oriel College, Oxford ; graduated B.A. in 1712, M.A. in 
1715, and B. and D.D. in 1726; became Rector of 
Barton, Staffordshire, Prebendary of Wells, Dean of 
Lincoln ; and in 1742 Bishop of St. David's, whence he 
was translated in the same year to the See of Bath and 
Wells, which he held for thirty years. The influence of 
his brother, Chief Justice Willes, doubtless helped in these 
promotions, but, according to Mr. Colvile, his episcopal 
appointment ' was mainly attributable to his tenure of the 
office of " Decypherer " to the King, the duties of which, 
though their exact nature is not known, would appear to 
be somewhat inconsistent with the ministerial calling.' 
He gained the confidence of the ' Ministry of the day by 
important communications and services in the secret 
department,' and his son was advised by Lord Chester- 
field * Patrisare ' to do as his father did before him. 
There seems to be no record of his scholarship or literary 
works, and his only distinction seems to be that he 
1 assisted Ducarel in his plan for the endowment of 
vicarages.' He was apparently rather a secular-minded 

C:cessful prelate. He died at his house in Hill Street, 

172 History of Warwickshire. 

Berkeley Square, London, and was buried with his wife in 
Westminster Abbey. 

Some other Bishops are included in the Rev. F. L. Col- 
vile's ' Worthies,' from which many of the facts and quota- 
tions in this summary have been borrowed, but their 
connections with the county are too slight, or too remote, 
or of too little general interest, to be introduced into this 
necessarily brief survey of Church e Worthies.' 

JUDGES, with Warwickshire connections, are not nume- 
rous, nor perhaps important, but three deserve some place 
in this record. 

Sir Edmund Anderson (1530-1605) was born at Brough- 
ton, in Lincolnshire, but he was associated with Warwick- 
shire by his purchase of Arbury, near Nuneaton, which he 
afterwards exchanged with the Newdigates for Moore Hall 
and Harefield, in Middlesex. He was a fierce Churchman, 
severe on Brownists and other schismatics, but he was 
bold enough to resist royal interference, and stood firmly 
on statute law. In 1586 he sat in judgment on Mary 
Queen of Scots. At Arbury he pulled down the house 
and church and built a mansion with the ruins. He enter- 
tained Elizabeth at Harefield, and was buried at Eyworth, 
Bedfordshire, in 1605, leaving no printed works except 
' Reports.' 

Sir John Willes (1685-1761) was born at Bishop's 
Itchington, and was educated at Lichfield and Oxford. 
In 1722 he was M.P. for Wey mouth, and supported Wai- 
pole. In 1733 he was Attorney-General and Chief Justice 
of Chester, and three years later Chief Justice of the 
Common Pleas. His ambition and his anger made him 
many enemies, and he was greatly disappointed that he 
lost the Lord Chancellorship. He died in Bloomsbury 
Square, and was buried at Bishop's Itchington in 1761. 

Sir John Eardley J^z/;;^ (1709-1792) inherited an estate 
at Berkswell from the Marrow family, and was Chief 
Justice of the Common Pleas in 1766. In 1771 he retired 

Judges and Martyrs. 173 

from public life and studied medicine and antiquities, and 
was one of the first members of the Society of Antiquaries. 
He died in London, but was buried at Berkswell, where a 
monument records his birth and death, his official appoint- 
ments, and the names of his children. 

MARTYRS. The proto-martyr of the Reformation was 
probably a Warwickshire man, although recent researches 
have thrown grave doubts on the popular story. John 
Rogers (circa 1509-1555) is claimed by Fuller as a native of 
Lancashire, but has long been regarded as a son of John 
Rogers of Deritend, Birmingham a part of the town in 
the parish of Aston where he is said to have been born 
in 1509. Colonel Chester, an excellent authority, allows 
that it is 'possible' that the proto-martyr was born in 
Deritend, but tradition and popular feeling have gone 
further, and a tablet has been placed on the outer wall of 
the present St. John's Church, Deritend, in honour of the 
memory of John Rogers. Whether born in Birmingham 
or not, Rogers does not seem to have had any special 
connection with the town in his later life. He graduated 
B.A. in 1526 from Pembroke College, Oxford. He went 
abroad, and was chaplain to the English merchants at 
Antwerp, where he met Tyndale and Coverdale, and 
became a Protestant; and about 1531 to 1535 he was at 
Wittenberg, and he is said to have had a large share in the 
translation of the 'Matthews' Bible, published in 1537. 
He was afterwards a prebend of St. Paul's, reader of 
Divinity lessons, and ' held for a time the Rectory of St. 
Margaret and the Vicarage of St. Sepulchre's, both in 
London. On the accession of Mary he advocated what he 
had taught under Edward VI., was cited and dismissed, 
but was afterwards examined before Gardiner, Bishop of 
Winchester and Lord Chancellor, and having refused a 
pardon if he would recant, he was burned at the stake in 

The ' Mancetter Martyrs/ so called from their connection 

1 74 History of Warwickshire. 

with Mancetter, near Atherstone, have long been famous 
in the ecclesiastical records of Warwickshire. Robert 
Glover and his brother John Glover suffered persecu- 
tion, and Robert was burned at the stake. Their family 
had lived at Mancetter from 1432 to 1677, and another 
brother, William, also lived at the same place. When 
the Mayor of Coventry had received the Bishop's warrant 
for the arrest of John Glover, he sent timely warning, but 
John and William had just left the house when the officers 
arrived, and forthwith arrested Robert, who was sick in 
bed, and who was imprisoned. John Glover afterwards 
returned, concealed himself in the woods, died of ague 
at Mancetter in 1558, and was buried in the churchyard. 
Six weeks afterwards, Dr. Draycott, the Chancellor of the 
Diocese, sent for the Vicar of Mancetter, and demanded to 
know why the body had been buried in the churchyard. 
The Vicar answered that he was ill at the time, and did not 
know of the burial, and he was then ordered to return 
home, to exhume the body, and to throw it over the wall 
into the highway. The Vicar protested, and was then 
ordered to read the curse on heretics over the grave, to 
take up the bones (after twelve months), and ' cast them 
over the wall, and then I ' (the Chancellor) ' will come and 
hallow again the place where he was buried.' William 
Glover sought safety at Wem, Shropshire, and died there 
soon after his brother. His principles were known, and 
the Bishop who had condemned Robert to the flames 
forbade the rite of burial to William, and his body was 
drawn by a horse into a field and buried. 

Robert Glover (circa 1513-1555) was born at Mancetter, 
and in 1533 he was elected from Eton to King's College, 
Cambridge, and became B.A. in 1538 and M.A. in 1541. 
He returned to Warwickshire, and led a quiet and studious 
life ; receiving instruction from Bishop Latimer (whose 
niece he had married) and who sometimes sought and 
found retirement at Merevale Abbey and at Baxterley 

The Mancetter Martyrs. 175 

Hall, then secluded places in the Forest of Arden. When 
apprehended in place of his brother John, he was first 
taken to Coventry, removed on horseback to Lichfield, 
where he ' inned at the sign of the Swan,' but after supper 
was removed to the ' church-prison, where he was confined 
in a dark, narrow room, adjoining the dungeon, with straw 
instead of a bed, and allowed no chair, stool, or anything 
else to sit on/ Soon after he was taken to Coventry, and 
burned with one Cornelius Bongey, a capper, ' without the 
city, at a place called "The Hollows," on September I4th, 
1555, and on the i6th of the same month his friend and 
pastor, Bishop Latimer, was burned at Oxford in the 
eighty-fifth year of his age. A friend and fellow-martyr, 
Mrs. Joyce (or Jocasta) Lewis, also lived at Mancetter. 
She was a Roman Catholic, like her husband, but was 
converted by the arguments of John Glover, her neighbour, 
and clung steadfastly to the Protestant faith. On the 
delivery of the Bishop's citation, her husband held a dagger 
to the officer's throat, and compelled him to swallow the writ, 
and then sent him away. A month's respite was allowed, 
but she resisted all arguments of her husband, and she 
was taken to prison, brought up several times for examina- 
tion, and was condemned to the stake, but twelve months 
passed because the Sheriff was unwilling to put her to death 
during his year of office. She was burned at Lichfield in 
December, 1557. A memorial tablet to the two martyrs 
was placed in the church at Mancetter in 1833. Full 
details of the lives and death of these * Mancetter Martyrs ' 
are given in Foxe's 'Acts and Monuments,' in Riding's 
' Mancetter Martyrs,' and in other works, as revelations 
of the barbarities of those troublous times. Another 
Warwickshire martyr was Julius Palmer, the son of a 
Mayor of Coventry, who was educated at the school of 
Magdalen College, Oxford, Fellow of the college in 1549, 
B.A. in 1547, Reader in Logic in 1550. His 'heretical' 
opinions were so clearly shown that he was expelled before 

176 History of Warwickshire. 

the reign of Edward VI. had closed ; but his devotion to 
the Roman Catholic faith, soon after the accession of Mary, 
restored him to his Fellowship. The study of Calvin's 
' Institutes' and the witnessing personally of the heroic faith 
of Ridley and Latimer, when burned at Oxford, led to 
a great change. He renounced Romanism, went to the 
Grammar School at Reading, afterwards to Evesham to ask 
his mother's blessing, but was repulsed with maledictions, 
was seized and imprisoned, hung up by hands and feet 
in the stocks for ten days, refused the high preferment 
promised, if he would recant, and was burned at Reading in 

PHYSICIANS. Many men of far more than merely local 
fame have been associated with Warwickshire, and some 
have been so illustrious as to deserve fuller notices than the 
limits of this record will allow. 

John Ash, M.D. (1723-1798), was born at Coventry in 
1723, and educated at Trinity College, Oxford. He settled 
at Birmingham, and soon became the chief physician of the 
town and neighbourhood. He was the founder of the 
General Hospital in Birmingham (1765), and he built a 
large house, which has given its name to the neighbour- 
hood Ashsted which was transformed into St. James's 
Chapel. In 1787 he removed to London, and was elected 
F.R.C.P., and he won all the high honours of his profession 
in his day. It is reported of him that when he found his 
brain seemed to be affected by his numerous and arduous 
professional duties, he recovered by intense devotion to 
mathematics. In his retirement he wrote a valuable work 
on the waters of Aix-la-Chapelle and Spa, with full 
discussions of the discoveries of Cavendish, Priestley, 
Bergman and Lavoisier. His personal appearance has 
long been familiar through a life-size, full-length portrait 
by Reynolds one of his finest works engraved by Bar- 
tolozzi in 1761. His nephew, Edward Ask, F.R.S. (1770- 
1829), was born in Birmingham, was M.D. of Oxford in 

James Cooke and Dr. Hall. 177 

1796, Physician-extraordinary to the King, and his large 
fortune and leisure enabled him to devote much energy and 
knowledge to literary and scientific pursuits. 

James Cooke (died 1688) was, during all his later life, a 
resident at Warwick as a ' practitioner in physick and 
chirurgery,' and was successful and popular all round 
Warwick for many years. His principal claim to fame 
and honour, and to a record here, is that he had the good 
fortune to find some of the fast-perishing records relating 
to Stratford-on-Avon in the days of Shakespeare. Soon 
after the death of John Hall, M.D., the son-in-law of 
Shakespeare, James Cooke was surgeon to a detachment 
stationed near Stratford Bridge in the Civil War days. 
He was invited to see Mistress Hall (Shakespeare's 
daughter Susannah), and he gives the following account 
of his interview : ( Being, in my art, an attendent to parts 
of some regiments to keep the pass at the Bridge of 
Stratford-on-Avon, there being then with me a mate 
allyed to the gentleman that writ the following obser- 
vations in Latin, he invited me to the house of Mrs. Hall, 
wife to the deceased, to see the books left by Mr. Hall. 
After the view of them, she told me she had some books 
left, by one that professed physick, with her husband for 
some money. I told her, if I liked them, I would give her 
the money again. She brought them forth, among which 
was this, with another of the author's, both intended for 
the presse. I, being acquainted with Mr. Hall's hand, told 
her that one or two of them were her husband's, and 
showed them to her. She denyed ; I affirmed, till I per- 
ceived she began to be offended. At last I returned her 
the money/ The manuscript is written in a neat hand 
and in Latin, and Cooke published a translation of it into 
English under the title of ' Select Observations of English 
Bodies ; or, Cures both Empiricall and Historicall per- 
formed upon very Eminent Persons in Desperate Diseases. 
First written in Latin by Mr. John Hall, physician, living 


178 History of Warwickshire. 

at Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire, where he was very 
famous, as also in the counties adjacent, as appeares by 
these Observations, drawn out of severall hundreds of his 
choicest/ The importance and interest of this case-book, 
so remarkably saved from loss, can scarcely be overstated, 
and Cooke deserves all praise. Unfortunately there is no 
reference to the death of Shakespeare, nor even to his last 
illness, but the little volume is full of quaint and curious 
facts, professionally and popularly readable. Cooke also 
published ' Mellificium Chirurgiae ; or, The Marrow of 
Chirurgy ' (1662), and dedicated to Lord Brooke; and a 
later edition with a chapter on anatomy ; and another 
work entitled the * Marrow of Physic.' Cooke died in 1688, 
and was buried in St. Mary's, Warwick. 

Nehemiah Grew, M.D. (1644-1712), was born at Ather- 
stone, and probably educated at Pembroke College, Cam- 
bridge, where, at any rate, someone of his name was B.A. 
in 1661. He received his professional instruction abroad, 
and on his return to England with a doctor's degree he 
settled at Coventry, where he wrote his 'Anatomy of 
Plants,' or at least the first part, which he dedicated to Dr. 
Wilkins, Bishop of Chester. In 1672 he removed to 
London and was elected F.R.S., and on the death of the 
secretary in 1677 he was appointed his successor, and 
devoted the larger part of his life to the work. He pre- 
prepared a ' Catalogue of the Natural and Artificial Rari- 
ties ' in 1 68 1, was elected honorary member of the College 
of Physicians in 1680, and he died in 1712. He had formed 
a fine library divinity, medicine and history but his 
chief work was given to the Royal Society. He pub- 
lished several works, learned and popular in his own 
time, and valued even now, such as the ' Anatomy of 
Vegetables,' the ' Physiological History of Plants/ ' Cos- 
mologia Sacra ; or, A Discourse of the Universe as the 
Creature and Kingdom of God,' and other works of minor 
importance, but all showing much acute observation, 

Dr. John Hall and Shakespeare. 179 

wide research, minute industry, and remarkable power of 

John Hall, M.D. (circa 1575-1635), as the son-in-law of 
Shakespeare would be sure of some recognition and some 
fame, while his knowledge as a physician and his large 
practice in the Midland counties gave him many means 
of observation, which unfortunately he only partially used. 
He might have saved the world endless speculations if he 
had left only a few notes on Shakespeare's life at Stratford 
after his retirement from the stage. He might have grati- 
fied a reasonable world-wide curiosity if his case-book had 
contained only a few words on the poet's latter days, 
illness and death. He might have ensured for posterity a 
few scraps of Shakespeare's handwriting and a few notes 
on his private life and personal friends. He seems to 
have done his best to honour the poet's memory by the 
bust and the epitaph, but he should have done more, and 
have spared the present generation the endless wrangles 
about doubtful ' facts.' John Hall seems to have settled 
in Stratford early in the seventeenth century as a physician, 
and in 1607 he married Shakespeare's daughter Susannah, 
then in her twenty-fifth year In 1617 he was chosen a 
member of the Corporation of Stratford, but he declined to 
serve. In 1623 he was chosen Chief Burgess, but was 
again excused. In 1632 he accepted office, but in 1633 he 
was displaced, and seems not to have been on good terms 
with the Corporation. On the coronation of Charles I., 
and having sufficient property and income, he paid a fine 
of ten pounds not to be dubbed a knight ! He died some- 
what suddenly in 1635, and left his books and manuscripts 
to his son-in-law Nash, and all trace of them has long ago 
been lost. Dr. Hall was a zealous Protestant, and appar- 
ently held Puritanical opinions, as some of the other 
members of the Shakespeare family did, so, possibly, the 
papers and plays of the great poet may have been deliber- 
ately destroyed. As a physician, however, he commanded 

12 2 

180 History of Warwickshire. 

respect, and was evidently a man of great ability. Dr. 
Bird, the Linacre Professor, speaking of him in 1657, sa -id : 
' And this I take to be a great sign of his ability, that such 
who spare not for cost, and they who have more than 
ordinary understanding, nay, such as hated him for his 
religion, often made use of him/ His only literary work 
that entirely professional has already been mentioned 
(s.v. Cooke, p. 177), and its entries do not begin till 1616, 
the year of Shakespeare's death. Dr. Hall was evidently 
a prominent person in Stratford life for more than fifty 
years, and could have recorded, if he had kept a diary 
of general, as well as of professional, facts, a record which 
would have enriched English history. He lies buried with 
his wife and their daughter, and Shakespeare and his wife, 
in the chancel of Stratford Church. 

Edmund Hector, M.D. (1709-1794), was born at Lichfield 
in the same year as Samuel Johnson, and they were school- 
fellows, between whom an unclouded friendship existed till 
Johnson died in 1784. Hector was honoured by his friend, 
who always spoke of him and wrote to him in the kindest 
words. He said of him : ' We passed through the school 
together ; we have always loved one another.' Hector 
removed to Birmingham in early life, and began to estab- 
lish himself as a physician. He lived with Thomas 
Warren in an old half-timber house, where Johnson was 
his guest for six months. Warren was the printer of the 
first newspaper in Birmingham, of which only one solitary 
copy has survived ; and as it has some Johnsonian sen- 
tences, there is little reason to doubt that Johnson assisted 
Warren, who certainly gave him his first commission to 
translate the ' Travels of Father Lobo in Abyssinia ' from 
the French. The indolence of Johnson 'stopped the 
press/ and Hector at last wrote down the words from 
Johnson's dictation as he lay abed. Hector began to 
prosper, and afterwards occupied a large house in the 
* Old Square,' where Johnson was often a guest in later 

Edmund Hector and the Johnstones. 1 8 1 

years. Boswell has left a graphic sketch of his visit with 
Johnson to Hector's house. Hector survived Johnson ten 
years, and died on the 2nd of September, 1794. He was 
a true friend to Johnson when friends were few, and he 
greatly helped him in his early struggles. Very few of 
the friendships of history are more pathetic and more 
honourable than that of Johnson and Hector for nearly 
seventy years. 

Edward Johnstone, M.D. (1757-1851), was the third son 
of Dr. James Johnstone, of Worcester, the friend of Pope 
and Thomson, and of George, Lord Lyttelton of Hagley, 
of whom he wrote an excellent biography ; and he was 
also famous for the use of muriatic acid fumes in arresting 
the progress of contagion. Edward became M.D. of 
Edinburgh, and settled in Birmingham, where he soon 
became the first physician of the Midland counties. He 
was much younger than his contemporaries Ash and 
Withering, but he succeeded them at a very early age. 
He served the General Hospital for twenty-two years, and 
acquired the highest professional and social position. He 
retired early, and enjoyed a ripe old age at Edgbaston 
Hall. His principal works were on puerperal fever and 
hydrophobia. He died at the great age of ninety-four, in 

John Johnstone, M.D. (1767-1836), his brother, also held 
a high position as a Fellow of the College of Physicians 
and of the Royal Society, and as physician to the General 
Hospital for thirty-two years. He was not only profes- 
sionally famous, but scientifically too. He was a personal 
friend of Dr. Parr, whose life and works he wrote and 
edited a monument of industry and learning, of great 
historic value, but now neglected, except by the few 
students who have taste and time for the elaborate records 
of learning which were fashionable sixty or seventy years 
ago. His works on ' Mineral Poisons,' on ' Medical Juris- 
prudence/ and on ' Madness: hereditary and partial,' are 

1 82 History of Warwickshire. 

excellent proofs of his skill and knowledge. He died near 
Birmingham in 1836, aged sixty-nine. 

Richard Pearson, M.D. (1765-1836), was born in Birming- 
ham, and was a brother of Thomas Aris Pearson, pro- 
prietor and editor of Arises Birmingham Gazette. He 
received his early education at the Grammar School, 
Sutton Coldfield, and afterwards at Chiswick. He gradu- 
ated as M.D. at Edinburgh in 1796, and then travelled for 
two years in Germany, France, and Italy with Mr. Knox, 
afterwards Lord Northland, and then settled in his native 
town in 1792, succeeding Dr. Withering as physician to 
the General Hospital till 1801, when he removed to 
London. After some years in London and Reading and 
Sutton he returned to Birmingham, where, with Mr Sands 
Cox, he assisted in the foundation of the Medical School, 
which finally expanded into the Queen's College, chiefly 
through the munificent gifts of the late Dr. Warneford. 
Dr. Pearson was a ready and prolific writer. He wrote 
many reviews in the British Critic. He contributed many 
articles to ' Rees's Cyclopaedia.' He was the associate 
of Dr. Shaw and Dr. Hutton in the * Abridgments of the 
Philosophical Transactions.' He gave special study (after 
his master, Dr. Cullen) to the analysis and classification 
of drugs, and his researches resulted in an important 
work, long regarded as authoritative, in 1808. He died 
in Birmingham in 1836, and was buried in the graveyard 
of St. Paul's, in his native town. 

William Withering, M.D. (1741-1799), was not merely 
a local worthy, but a man of science, whose studies and 
researches and writings have secured him fame wherever 
the science of botany is known. He was born at Welling- 
ton, Shropshire, and was chiefly educated by the Rev. 
Henry Wood, of Ercall. At Edinburgh he took his 
M.D. degree in 1766, and afterwards became a Fellow 
of the Royal and of the Linnaean Societies. His first 
professional work was at Stafford, where the banks of the 

Dr. Withering. 183 

Trent, the North Stafford hills, and the vast area of the 
wildest untrodden parts of Cannock Chase, gave him the 
fullest opportunities of studying his favourite science of 
botany, and of collecting the mass of material for his 
future famous work. In 1775 he removed to Birmingham, 
where a professional career seemed open to him by the 
death of Dr. Small, the life-long friend of Matthew Boulton, 
of Soho. The venture proved to be a great success ; and 
on the retirement of Dr. Ash the practice of Dr. Withering 
increased, till it surpassed, or at least equalled, that of any 
physician in the country. In 1786 he went to live at the 
largest house near Birmingham, Edgbaston Hall, where 
the second edition of his 'Botany' was completed. The 
fine park and pool and rookery, his Newfoundland dogs, 
his herd of French cattle, afforded him continual relaxa- 
tions among his heavy professional work, and his ever- 
delicate health was greatly benefited. In 1791, however, 
a storm-cloud burst over his prospects and peaceful pur- 
suits. The terrible four days' riots of that year, when a 
furious mob held possession of the town, and wrecked and 
burned some of the best houses, unchecked by public 
opinion or by main force, threatened his house, although 
he had taken no part in political matters, and was himself 
a 'good Churchman.' He was obliged to leave his home, 
as an attack was threatened, and to hide his books and 
specimens in hay and to hurry them away; but fortunately 
the forced march of soldiers from Nottingham alarmed 
the rioters, and Edgbaston Hall was spared. Curiously 
enough, Dr. Withering afterwards removed to Fair Hill, 
Dr. Priestley's house, which had been wrecked at the same 
riots, and all its countless treasures the apparatus, the 
notes and experiments of years ruthlessly destroyed. 
Dr. Withering's few leisure hours were fully and methodi- 
cally employed. He was one of the pleasant company of 
men of science whose presence irradiated Birmingham's 
social life. He was the friend of Boulton, Watt, Priestley, 

184 History of Warwickshire. 

Keir, Murdoch, Darwin, Day, Edgeworth, Galton, Banks, 
Smeaton, and many others who were resident-members or 
visitors of the famous Lunar Society, so called because its 
meetings were held so as to enable the members to have 
a moonlight ride home after dinner at each other's houses 
all round Birmingham where philosophical questions had 
been discussed. His own house, like that of Boulton at 
Soho, was the guest-house of all distinguished, and espe- 
cially of foreign, visitors. A long-standing and serious 
malady of the lungs greatly limited his work, and he 
spent two winters at Lisbon, where, true to his studies, 
he analyzed and described the hot mineral waters at 
Caldas da Reinha, and published the results in the 
'Transactions of the Lisbon Academy/ and afterwards 
in the ' Philosophical Transactions.' His physical weak- 
ness never impaired his intellectual vigour, nor repressed 
his ardour of research. He was slowly dying of con- 
sumption, and all hope of recovery was fading. It was 
gracefully said of him, ' The flower of physicians is indeed 
Withering.' He died in his own house in Birmingham in 
1799, honoured by all who knew his works, and mourned 
by those who knew all of his gentle and genial life and 
devotion to science. He was buried in Edgbaston Church, 
near to the hall and park where some of his happiest days 
had been passed, and six of his own servants bore his 
body to the grave. He left a valuable library to his son, 
and his works have won him universal fame, from his 
'British Plants' (1776) through numerous editions down 
to his ' Foxglove ' and ' Scarlet Fever ' treatises, and his 
name is preserved in botany by * Witheringia' for a genus 
of American plants, and in chemistry by ' Witherite,' the 
native carbonate of barytes, which he first discovered. 
The two volumes of his 'Life and Correspondence' are 
highly interesting, and far too rarely read. 

Francis Willughby, F.R.S. (1635-1672), was born at 
Middleton, near Kingsbury, and was in 1653 entered as a 

Francis Willughby. 185 

Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge, where 
he first met the celebrated botanist John Ray, who became 
his friend in life, and his biographer when he died. In 
1 66 1 the two friends made an excursion through the 
northern counties to Scotland, and in the following year 
to the south-western counties of England accounts of 
which are given in Ray's * Itinerarium.' The journeys 
were not merely pleasant excursions, but careful surveys, 
not only of Natural History, but whatever of science or 
art was to be found. In 1663 another journey, and with a 
larger party, was made to several parts of Europe, which 
Willughby extended, alone, to Spain. Unfortunately, the 
written records were lost, but most of the specimens 
collected have been preserved at Wollaton. In 1665 
another ' Itinerary ' was undertaken to the western and 
south-western counties, and with equal or even greater 
care. In 1665 Willughby succeeded, on the death of his 
father, to the Middleton and Wollaton estates at one or 
other of which he lived till his death in 1672. He prepared 
a paper for the Royal Society on his scientific researches 
into the nature of vegetation in 1669 ; but his great work 
on ' Ornithology ' was edited and published only after his 
death by his good friend Ray in 1678, and gained for him 
the title of the 'Father of British Natural History' the 
first scientific treatise and the basis of the Linnsean system. 
No more honourable and blameless, no more modest or 
useful life has ever deserved the loving memory in which 
Ray held his worthy friend a genuine Warwickshire 
worthy of the rarest type. 

POETS, Ben Jonson classified those who are recognised 
as poets under four great headings, poetaccios (or great 
poets), poets, poetasters, and poetitos. Warwickshire has 
produced some of all these four classes, and certainly two 
who are deservedly ranked among the great poets of their 
own times, and one of them as the ' poet of all time ' 
Michael Drayton and William Shakespeare, All that the 

1 86 History of Warwickshire. 

space of this record allows must be limited to the chief 
outlines of their lives as connected with Warwickshire, and 
to references to the character of their works. Both were 
born in Warwickshire, and lived in the county for many 
years, so that they are both emphatically 'Warwickshire 
worthies,' of whom the county has good reason to be proud. 
Michael Dray ton (1563-1631) was born at Hartshill, near 
Atherstone, but belonged to a Leicestershire family, and 
in his early days was a page to Sir Henry Goodeve, of 
Polesworth ; but he seems to have been ' nobly bred and 
well ally'd/ He was remarkable in his boyhood for his good 
looks, modesty and pleasant temper. He is not proved, 
but is supposed, to have been sent to Oxford by his patron, 
Goodeve, whose kindness he acknowledges, and who 
introduced him to Lucy, Countess of Bedford, sister to 
Sir John Harrington, of Combe Abbey. He was also a 
close friend of Sir Aston Cokain, of Polesworth, and of Sir 
Walter Aston, to whom, ' in the spring of his acquaintance/ 
he dedicated his f Barons' Wars.' His connection with 
such persons is a sufficient proof that he was no mere 
courtier, but a man of scholarly attainments and refined 
tastes, and this is more fully proved by his earliest works. 
Little else is known of his personal or local life, except 
that, before he left Warwickshire for,London, he had paid 
his addresses to a Coventry- born lady, who lived near the 
river Anker, and in 1594 he published fifty-one sonnets 
under the title ' Idea's Mirrour : Amours in Quatorzains ' 
the lady being ' Idea,' and receiving his homage for 
many years, although she never became his wife. In his 
'Collection,' in 1609, he had 'A Hymn to my Lady's 
Birthplace,' and one magnificent sonnet, ' Since there's no 
help, come let us kiss and part.' All these early poems 
were in the Petrarchian style, but in robust and brilliant 
English. His adoration of his lady lasted thirty years, 
but he died a bachelor in 1631, and had the honour of 
burial in Westminster Abbey, with a monument erected 

Michael Dray ton. 187 

1 88 History of Warwickshire. 

dramatists, and with marked originality and effect even 
in that prolific play -writing age. In 1605 his 'Poems 
Lyricall and Pastorall,' etc., showed far higher powers ; 
and among the ' Ballads ' was his famous ' Battle of 
Agincourt,' a most brilliant and patriotic martial lyric. 
In 1613 his greatest and most famous work appeared as 
' Poly-Olbion ; or, A Chorographicall Description of all the 
Tracts, Rivers, Mountains, Forests, and other Parts (etc.) 
of Great Britaine/ In each 'Song' (or book), full and 
fanciful, mythological and topographical, historical and 
descriptive details were given in rich, high-sounding lines, 
of the legends and history of all parts of Britain, with 
copious antiquarian annotations by John Selden. Such a 
work must necessarily be monotonous in form and style, 
however varied in subject, and not even the numberless 
passages of high poetic beauty could make the work 
welcome to the readers even of that day. It is, however, 
a marvellous work, full of poetic fire, brilliant description, 
minute observation, graphic record, unrivalled imagination 
and fanciful power. Its magnificent metre and lofty 
imagery were bestowed on facts, and often on legends, 
and it wanted the human interest and sympathy which 
alone could raise it to the rank of the highest poetic art. 
Isaac d'Israeli said of it, that 'it was without a parallel in 
the poetic annals of any people,' and that we might derive 
its birth ' from Leland's magnificent view of his designed 
work on Britain,' and 'that hint expanded by the "Britannia" 
of Camden, who inherited the mighty industry without the 
poetical spirit of Leland : Drayton embraces both.' 

John Freeth (1730-1808) is a descent from a poetaccio 
to a poetaster, or poetito, but alphabetical arrangement 
necessarily brings strange folk together. He was born in 
Birmingham, and scarcely left the town all his life. He 
was probably unique as an example of a publican-poet, 
for he kept nominally a coffee-house, but really an old- 
fashioned sort of club-inn, where the men of Birmingham 

John Freeth and John Huckell. 189 

met constantly to talk over the news of the day. He was 
a bright and genial man, fairly well read, and remarkable 
for ready wit and rough humour. He ' wrote songs, found 
tunes, and sung them too.' His house was a Whig club, 
before Liberals or Radicals were known. He wrote songs 
and catches on the topics of the day. His regular visitors 
were known as the ' Jacobin Club,' and there was a rival 
house of Tory fame, which announced, 'No Jacobins 
admitted here.' Most of Freeth's songs were in a free-and- 
easy style short, sharp, ' catchy,' and emphatic ; but the 
other house had no poet to attract its * company/ Freeth 
began to write and sing about 1750, and continued to do 
so for more than thirty years. He had the honour of 
having his first ' poems ' printed by John Baskerville in 
1771, and in his later years he published others. His songs 
are literally stainless as to phrases and words, and while 
full of genial satire and political feeling, were always in 
good taste. He was honoured by all who knew him, was 
a ' power ' in his way, and a ' celebrity ' in his own town. 
He died, aged seventy-eight, and his own words formed his 
epitaph : 

* Free and easy through life 'twas his wish to proceed, 
Good men he revered, be whatever their creed. 
His pride was a sociable evening to spend, 
For no man loved better his Pipe and his Friend.' 

Huckell, John (1729-1771), was another of the minor 
poets, who once was popular by his poem ' Avon.' He was 
born in Stratford, educated at the Grammar School under 
the Rev. Joseph Greene, a scholar and antiquary, who was 
the master (1735-1772), and who left many now valuable 
sketches of old buildings and copies of old manuscripts, 
which are preserved in the museum at Shakespeare's birth- 
place. In 1750 Huckell graduated B.A. at Oxford, and 
after ordination was a curate at Hounslow. As an old 
Stratfordian he took part in the Garrick Jubilee celebration 
of 1769, and wrote several of the songs for that festival, and 

190 History of Warwickshire. 

a poem to Garrick (on his receiving the ' freedom of Strat- 
ford '), which appeared in the Gentleman s Magazine. His 
1 Avon ' is one of the historico-topographical poems, then 
very popular, and it has much merit as a record of the 
scenes on the banks of the ' classic stream.' This poem, 
an early work, had the honour of being printed by John 
Baskerville in a handsome quarto in 1758. Huckell died 
in 1771, and was buried at Isleworth. 

Richard J ago (1715-1781) was another of the local poets 
of the then popular class. He was of a Cornish family, 
but born at Beaudesert, Henley-in-Arden, near Stratford. 
He was at school at Solihull, in the same county, and there 
a life-long friendship with William Shenstone began, and 
also with a neighbour poet, William Somerville, another of 
the three famous friends. At University College, Oxford, 
he was elected a servitor, took M.A. degree in 1738, and 
became curate of Smitterfield, near Stratford, in 1737, and 
vicar in 1771. Like his friend Shenstone at the Leaseowes, 
he amused his leisure by landscape gardening, but on a 
much smaller scale. His principal poem was * Edgehill/ 
another historico-topographical poem, in which he intro- 
duced some graceful lines in memory of Shenstone. These 
friends Jago, Somerville and Shenstone, with Lady Lux- 
borough, who lived near Henley-in-Arden formed a 
pleasant county coterie of literary tastes, and the letters of 
Shenstone, and of Lady Luxborough especially, are deeply 
interesting records of Middle England life a hundred 
years ago. 

John Jordan (1746-1809) can be regarded only as a 
pseudo-poet, pretentious and fraudulent, for he certainly 
fabricated many of his ' facts ' in connection with Shake- 
speare and Stratford. He was born at Alveston, over 
Avon, from the Stratford side, and was ignorant and pre- 
sumptuous. He published one poem ' Welcombe Hills,' 
a lovely scene close to Stratford, with charming park and 
gentle hills, and remains of old earthworks of British days. 

William Shakespeare. 191 

He was a constant correspondent of Malone, who helped 
him liberally, and he contributed topographical and anti- 
quarian papers to the Gentleman s Magazine ; but most of 
his ' facts ' require very careful scrutiny. He prepared in 
a rough and illiterate style a ' History of Stratford/ the 
MS. of which is preserved at the museum there, with a 
volume of original letters from Malone from 1790 to 1799. 
His numerous drawings are poor, and at least, z/zexact, and 
his help to Ireland's * Avon,' especially as to Shakespeare's 
house (New Place), cannot be accepted as genuine. He 
died at Stratford in 1809, and was buried near the site of 
the charnel-house, which was destroyed nine years before, 
together with the College near the church two relics of 
mediaeval Stratford which would have had extraordinary 
interest now. 

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born at Stratford - 
on-Avon, and his baptism is recorded in the church register 
on April 26, 1564. The custom of the time was to 
baptize on the third day, so that the day of birth is tradi- 
tionally accepted as April 23, and at the house now 
known as Shakespeare's birthplace, which was bought 
by public subscription, and afterwards restored to its form 
as it originally existed at the end of the sixteenth century. 
His father was for some years a prosperous man, and in 
1568 High Bailiff. Scarcely any definite facts are recorded 
as to the early days of Shakespeare, but his father certainly 
occupied and purchased the house as it now remains, and 
within its walls the boy Shakespeare lived. There can be 
no doubt that he was sent to the Grammar School originally 
founded by Thomas Jollyffe in 1482, and refounded in the 
reign of Edward VI. (1553). The school buildings still 
remain as in Shakespeare's time. On the ground-floor 
under the upper school is the Gild-hall, where, when his 
father was High Bailiff in 1568-69, and the poet was a boy 
of five, he saw his first dramatic performance, as the Queen's 
and the Earl of Worcester's players visited the town. As 

192 History of Warwickshire. 

a confirmation of the fact that young children were present 
at such performances, a contemporary account of a play at 
Gloucester records the presence of a boy of the same age 
as Shakespeare, and the details of such a play as the young 
Shakespeare must have seen, and which must have im- 
pressed his mind and have influenced his after-life. In the 
absence even of traditions which have any value, all that 
can be done is to look to the surroundings and influence 
of Stratford life in Shakespeare's boyhood, and this has 
been accomplished with remarkable knowledge and graphic 
power by the late Professor T. Spencer Baynes, but a 
mere reference to his researches must suffice. In Fraser's 
Magazine of November, 1879, and January and May, 1880, 
he wrote three remarkable papers on ' What Shakespeare 
Learnt at School/ giving the fullest and clearest details 
now available of the books used, and the teaching given in 
all similar schools of that period, of which any accounts 
have been preserved. The results are singularly interesting 
and valuable, for they are pictures of school life as to 
masters, books, and scholars, and are strangely realistic in 
showing the school life of the Elizabethan age. They still 
more clearly show that the boy Shakespeare must have had 
within easy reach, and for several years nearly, if not all, 
that was needful to explain the numerous classical allusions 
in his poems and plays. These examples of circumstantial 
evidence very clearly show the curriculum of a country 
school, and there is still more direct evidence as to the 
'Grammar School at Stratford between 15 70 and 1580, when 
Walter Roche for two years, Thomas Hunt for five years, 
and Thomas Jenkins for three years, were the masters of 
the school. In another, and unhappily his last work, Pro- 
fessor Baynes has contributed an invaluable help to the 
study of the local influences on Shakespeare's life. It 
appeared s.v. ' Shakespeare ' in the ninth edition of the 
' Encyclopaedia Britannica/ of which he was chief editor. 
It is a most scholarly and brilliant survey of the influences 

Shakespeare and Stratford. 193 

which surrounded Stratford and Shakespeare, and which 
combined to mould his character and genius. It consists 
of a minute study of all the facts, physical and moral, 
ethnological and historical, topographical and social, which 
affected his ancestry, his home, his friends, his neighbours, 
and the state of social life in Stratford. Every detail of 
general and local history, every physical feature of the 
country around, every subtle impression from the varieties 
of scenery, or ancient legend, or exciting story, is carefully 
weighed, and shown to account for most of the references 
in Shakespeare's poems and plays. Even in his life in 
London the surroundings are shown to have been such as 
would have influenced his tastes and genius, such as to 
take only one example his associations with John Florio 
to explain the Italian plots and allusions in his plays. 
These careful studies by Professor Baynes are most original 
and most valuable, for they throw a flood of light on many 
of the darkest scenes of Shakespeare's personal as well as 
professional life. In the absence of special details, such a 
methodical and thorough survey of the ' environment ' of 
Shakespeare is the more valuable as a series of sidelights 
on history ; and these papers ought to be collected and 
published in one volume in justice to the memory of their 
author, and as an original and learned summary of the 
great facts of Shakespeare's life and times. 

Warwickshire, and especially Stratford, are necessarily 
closely associated with the whole of Shakespeare's life. 
His mother, Mary Arden, was of an old yeoman family 
who had held land for several generations, and she was an 
heiress when John Shakespeare married her in 1557, from 
Wilmecote, near Stratford. The poet's boyhood days 
were mostly passed among the pleasant Stratford scenery 
of gentle hills and soft-flowing Avon, as the many and 
minute references in his plays and poems show, and many 
of those allusions are clearly Warwickshire. In 1582 he 
married Ann Hathaway, but where is not known, and only 


194 History of Warwickshire. 

the ' Bond ' at Worcester records the fact Their first 
child, Susannah, was baptized at Stratford in 1583, and two 
others, Hamnet and Judith, were baptized, in 1585. Soon 
after, when between twenty-one and twenty-two years 
old, Shakespeare went to London, and tradition records, 
through a quarrel with Sir Thomas Lucy, but the facts 
are mostly doubtful, and the real reason has never been 
discovered, while the sarcastic references in the 'Merry 
Wives of Windsor ' indirectly support the tradition. Several 
years of Shakespeare's life in London are blank, but cer- 
tainly he had some connection with the theatres, first, 
probably, in some humble office, when his Stratford friends, 
Burbage and Greene, doubtless helped him, and he began 
to edit and alter old plays, and afterwards to write his own. 
In 1593 his 'Venus and Adonis ' was published, and in 
1594 his * Tarquin and Lucrece' two poems worthy of 
the fame of any author of his age. As early as 1592 he 
was known as a rising actor, and he doubtless had some 
share in the ' Henry VI.' plays about that time, but the 
chronology of his plays is very uncertain. ' Love's Labour's 
Lost/ the 'Comedy of Errors,' and the 'Two Gentlemen 
of Verona,' are certainly his earliest works. In 1596 
' Romeo and Juliet' was produced at the Curtain Theatre ; 
and in August of the same year his only son Hamnet died 
in the twelfth year of his age. In 1597 twelve years 
after his arrival in London he showed his interest in his 
native town by the purchase of New Place the * Great 
House ' of Stratford which was in ' great ruyne and decay 
and unrepayred,' and it was close to the Grammar School 
and Gild Chapel. It was described by Leland (1540) as 
' a prety house in brick and timber/ and it was also 
described as of ' timber and brick with stone foundations, 
gabled, and with bay window on the east or garden side/ 
In this house Shakespeare passed his latter years, and 
there he died in 1616. After his death it was pulled down 
to the ground, and its successor was in due time removed 

\Shakespeare in London. 195 

by the Gastrells, so that now only the gardens of Shake- 
speare's freehold remain. They were purchased through 
the energy and liberality of the late J. O. Halliwell- 
Phillipps, and are now included with the Birthplace Trust. 

Although Shakespeare became so famous in London, it 
is remarkable how greatly he was attached to his native 
town. Tradition records that he visited it every year, and 
certainly in the height of his fame he left London for the 
retirement of Stratford during the last years of his life. 
In 1607 his daughter Susannah was married to Dr. John 
Hall; and in the same year his brother Edmund, described 
as ' a player/ died, aged 28, and was buried at St. Mary 
Overy Church, South wark. In February, 1608, his grand- 
daughter Elizabeth Hall was born ; and in September of 
the same year his own mother, ' Mary Shaxspere, widow/ 
died, seven years after her husband. In 1609 his famous 
' Sonnets ' were published, to puzzle every succeeding 
generation of critics, and they have never yet been satis- 
factorily explained. In the same year the poet is seen 
as a practical man of business by the Court record of his 
suing a debtor for the sum of six pounds, and afterwards 
the debtor's surety one of the few survivals of any 
mention of Shakespeare's personal life. Early in the next 
year he bought more land from the Combe family, and 
thus held one hundred and twenty-seven acres in and 
around Stratford. In March, 1613, he bought the house 
in the Blackfnars, on the mortgage of which is one of the 
only five authentic signatures of Shakespeare now in the 
British Museum the others being one on a similar docu- 
ment at the Guildhall, and the other three on his last will 
at Somerset House. 

No other scrap of Shakespeare's handwriting has been 
discovered, and only one letter addressed to him has been 
found, the letter from Quiney, now in the Birthplace 
Museum. His life at Stratford was uneventful. He lived 
in the 'Great House.' He bought land and sold malt. 


196 History of Warwickshire. 

He wrote some of his latest and grandest plays. His name 
is sometimes mentioned in the numerous local records, 
but never with more than some merely official fact. He 
was consulted as to the enclosure of some * common fields ' 
at Welcombe, but whether he favoured the enclosure or 
not, depends on whether a crabbed letter in a manuscript 
is to be read * I ' or ' he,' and as the experts differ, it is 
difficult to decide. In the spring of 1614 an itinerant 
preacher was a guest at New Place, and the Corporation 
accounts show that twenty pence were spent on ' a quart of 
claret and a quart of sack' for his entertainment, but there 
is no record whether Shakespeare was present, or the hosts 
were Dr. and Mrs. Hall. In 1616 his younger daughter 
Judith was married to Thomas Quiney, and two months 
later the great dramatist was stricken with fever, died on 
the 23rd of April, 1616, and was buried in the chancel of 
Stratford Church. His last will was elaborate and precise, 
but makes no mention of his poems or plays, and even the 
inventory of his household goods has been lost. The pro- 
visions of the will have been fiercely discussed with very 
little practical result, and the impenetrable veil which has 
hidden all the details of his private life has never been 
lifted to disclose the facts. 

Seven years after Shakespeare's death his ' friends and 
fellows,' John Heminge and Henry Condell, collected his 
plays and published them in the ' First Folio ' of 1623. It 
was a labour of love, and, as a whole, was well performed. 
The plays were nominally printed from his own ' papers/ in 
which they ' scarce received a blot/ but there are many 
proofs that they sometimes used some of the * diverse, 
stolene and surreptitious copies,' which they formally 
denounced. While the numerous quarto plays issued 
before 1623 occasionally contain passages not included 
in the folio text, which all editors gladly accept as being 
unquestionably Shakespeare's work, the ' First Folio ' has 
the immortal honour of having preserved copies of eleven 

William Somervile. 197 

plays which might have been lost to the world. These are 
' The Tempest/ ' Macbeth,' ' Twelfth Night,' ' Measure for 
Measure/ * Coriolanus,' ' Julius Caesar/ ' Timon of Athens/ 
' Antony and Cleopatra/ ' Cymbeline/ ' As You Like It ' 
and * The Winter's Tale/ for all of which the ' First Folio ' 
is the sole authority. The ' Folio ' contains thirty-six plays. 
It was originally published at twenty shillings, but a 
perfect and fine copy is now worth 500, since the volume 
is the most interesting and important work in all English 
literature, as the treasury of all the greatest works of the 
' greatest name in our literature, and in all literature/ 
The Droeshout portrait of Shakespeare is the only one 
which has contemporary and positive claims to be accepted 
as genuine and faithful, and the second, with any complete 
authority, is the bust in Stratford Church. 

William Somervile (1692-1730), already referred to, was 
born at Edstone, near Stratford, and inherited a large 
estate from a long line of ancestors. His great-grandfather 
is said to have been a friend of Shakespeare after his re- 
tirement from the stage, and the family possessed the 
Hilliard portrait, said to be that of Shakespeare a charm- 
ing miniature, but ' not proven ' to be an original and 
contemporary portrait from life. Somervile was a Fellow 
of New College, Oxford, but had few literary tastes. He 
was a warm friend of Shenstone, who wrote his epitaph in 
Wootton-Wawen Church, and who greatly admired his 
only literary work, the poem long popular as ' The Chase ' 
a lively picture of the sport to which he gave his whole 
life, and lost his large fortune, and which helped to close 
his career while in middle life. His fox-hunting fame and 
social qualities made him many friends, and he had most 
of the virtues and vices of the country squires of his age. 
' The Chase ' was written late in his life, when physical 
infirmities had prevented his following the hounds, and is 
certainly a good example of the sort of poetry which was 
popular at the end of the last century. 

198 History of Warwickshire. 

William Warner ( 1609) was a poet, now nearly 

forgotten, but one whose memory deserves some mention. 
He was born in Warwickshire, and was probably a son of 
Dr. Warner, Rector of Radway, near Kineton. He was 
educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, where his favourite 
studies were history, poetry, and romance. He left without 
a degree, and went to London, where he won some fame 
as a minor poet. In 1592 he published his 'Albion's 
England,' a careful epitome of English history in a folio 
volume, containing thirteen books. After his death his 
poems were highly praised, and Antony a Wood says : 
* As Euripides was the most sententious among the Greek 
poets, so was this Warner among the English poets ; and 
as Homer and Virgil among the Greeks and Latins were 
the chief heroic poets, so Edmund Spenser and this our 
Warner were esteemed by scholars living in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth our chief heroical makers. But since 
such is the fate of poets and poetry, that Warner is 
esteemed by some persons now or lately living, only a 
good honest plain writer of moral rules and precepts in the 
old-fashioned kind of seven-footed verse, which yet is some- 
times is use, though in a different manner, that is to say, 
divided into two ; and though he was not reckoned equal 
with Sir P. Sydney, M. Drayton, and S. Daniel, yet he was 
not inferior to George Gascoigne, G. Turbervile, Thomas 
Churchyard, Henry Constable, Sir Henry Dyer, etc.' 
Warner's poem-history is rarely read now, but it has much 
vigour and learning and many fine lines. He died in 

INDUSTRIAL. Foremost in the record of industrial 
worthies and their works the name of Matthew Boulton 
must necessarily come as the great * captain of industry ' 
at the world-famous Soho. The site of the works is outside 
the county of Warwick in Staffordshire, and Boulton did 
not begin to build there till 1765. He was, however, so 
closely associated with Birmingham by birth and residence, 

Matthew Boulton. 199 

and had offices in Birmingham in connection with Soho, 
that he may properly be placed among the local worthies. 
Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) was the son of a Birming- 
ham button-maker, and was born in the town and educated 
in Deritend. He began business as a maker of those 
' steel toys ' from which Edmund Burke described Bir- 
mingham as the ' toy-shop of Europe,' for these toys were 
the sword-hilts, and shoe-buckles, and brooches, and chate- 
laines, which were fashionable, and were largely imported 
from France. When quite a young man he made many 
improvements in their manufacture and design, and he left 
his works in Snow Hill, Birmingham, for the vast building 
of Soho nearly two miles away in 1765. The site was 
a wild heath, and was taken chiefly to utilize the water- 
power, as being then the best known source of ' power.' 
His mental qualities, wide culture, business capacity, and 
vigorous enterprise soon extended his transactions, and 
Soho became one of the wonders which all foreign visitors 
went out to see. When Boswell visited the works, Boulton 
gave him his famous phrase : ' Sir, I sell here what all the 
world desires to have Power.' This was literally true 
after the happy accident which brought James Watt to 
Soho with his improvements in the 'fire-engine' of New- 
comen, which used steam only to be condensed and create a 
vacuum, and not as a source of power. The partnership 
of Boulton and Watt was simply perfect. Each supplied 
what the other lacked. Watt was a patient, studious 
inventor, but nervous and anxious, and readily discouraged 
,by failures of a business sort. Boulton was bold, adven- 
turous, undaunted, and ready to face the most serious risks. 
The union of these two made the fortunes of both, and 
each of them lived to an advanced age and reaped the 
rewards of their genius and industry, and Soho became 
famous the wide world over. It was not only in the making 
of steam-engines that the success of Soho was won. 
Boulton had very large and varied scientific knowledge, as 

2OO History of Warwickshire. 

well as business sagacity, indomitable energy, and patient 
skill. He designed a new form of press for medals and 
coining, and this was so complete and useful that it has 
remained almost unaltered down to our own day. He had 
also great good taste in art. He sought out the best 
artists, and surrounded himself with designers, and modellers 
and medallists like Flaxman, Kiichler, Pidgeon, and the 
best men of the day. The Soho mint sent forth not only 
coins of the realm, but medals of the very highest class of 
art as to design, and of the most perfect beauty as to 
delicacy and clearness of execution. Not only in this line, 
but in another, he showed his taste and love of art. He 
bought from his friend Wedgwood the delicate blue and 
white cameos which Etruria was pouring forth, and 
' mounted ' the scent-bottles in silver and the brooches in 
the ' steel-toys ' the ' cut ' and * fretted ' steel pins which 
have long been prized by the curious collector. He was 
ready to manufacture anything which good taste demanded. 
He led the way, he set the fashions, and the world crowded 
to his works. Crowned heads from all parts of Europe, 
notables from remote regions, became not only his visitors, 
but his guests, in the famous hostelry (' 1'Hotel de 1'Amitie,' 
as he called it) on Handsvvorth Heath. He was on friendly 
and even intimate terms with all the most famous men of 
his time Benjamin Franklin, Josiah Wedgwood, Dr. 
Erasmus Darwin, Dr. Priestley, R. L. Edgworth, Thomas 
Day, and all the celebrities of the age. His personal 
manners are described as princely, courteous, refined, 
hearty, and he made friends wherever he appeared. His 
long association with James Watt, who survived him, was 
alike honourable to both. Boulton had risked his fortune 
and run into debt, almost to bankruptcy, before the steam- 
engine began to pay ; but he never lost heart or hope. 
His indomitable energy never flagged, while Watt was 
often in the depths of despair over the worries of life. 
' The Story of Soho ' in full detail is almost romantic in its 

Boulton, Murdoch and Watt. 201 

variety, and is literally charming as to the details, even 
apart from its historical interest. Mr. Smiles has given an 
excellent account, but even he has scarcely realized its great 
significance, or had the opportunity to do full justice to 
its memorable growth and working during those eventful 

Another of the heroes of Soho deserves a passing word 
of praise and honour. William Murdock ( 1750- 1 839) looks 
like a minor star when Boulton and Watt are ascendant, 
but he was almost as prolific an inventor as Watt, and 
almost as bold an adventurer as Boulton. He was the first 
to use coal-gas for lighting purposes. He made and ran 
the first model of a locomotive steam-engine, which still 
remains intact in the possession of Mr. Richard Tangye, 
and is the most interesting memorial and relic of the first 
road-engine the prophetic forerunner of all railway lines. 
Another name associated with Soho should not be for- 
gotten that of the second son of James Watt, who bore his 
father's name, and was one of the first to use a steam-engine 
on a vessel and to cross over to the Continent. He was 
the second son of Watt the first son was the gifted 
Gregory Watt a young man of varied attainments and 
great promise, who died in early manhood, to the great 
grief of all who knew him. The Soho heroes of industry 
were united for many years of active life, and in death they 
were not divided. They rest together at Handsworth, 
almost in sight of where Soho once stood (for the last 
buildings were removed in 1853), and Matthew Boulton, 
James Watt, William Murdock, and Francis Eginton 
repose in honour in this ' Campo Santo' of illustrious dead. 
James Watt has a memorial in a life-like statue, by 
Chan trey, in a chapel in Handsworth Church, and another 
in the heart of Birmingham by Alexander Munro. Boulton 
and Murdock have only mural monuments and busts in 
the same church, but must some day have the honour their 
memory deserves of public memorials in the town where 

202 History of Warwickshire. 

their busy and useful lives were passed. The closing words 
of Lord Brougham's fine epitaph on James Watt may 
justly be applied to these three great industrial heroes 
Boulton, Watt, and Murdock that 'they enlarged the 
resources of their country, increased the power of man, and 
rose to an eminent place among the most illustrious fol- 
lowers of science and the real benefactors of the world/ 

Edward Thomason (1769-1849) was one of the numerous 
examples of the permanent and widespread influence of 
Matthew Boulton and Soho. He was born in Birmingham, 
and his father, like Boulton's, was also a button-maker. 
When he was sixteen young Thomason was articled to 
Boulton, and he learned at Soho the arts which he used so 
successfully in his after-life. When he was twenty-one he 
began to make gilt and silver buttons, and afterwards 
undertook medal-work, tokens, coins, bronzes and gold 
and silver plate. His works became extensive, and he 
placed over the front copies of the famous horses from the 
fagade of St. Mark at Venice, and a statue of Atlas, and 
succeeded in attracting all distinguished travellers to visit 
his works. He issued a great variety of medals some 
being medallic summaries of scientific facts but his 
principal work was sixty large medals of Bible history, 
copies of which he sent to all the monarchs of Europe, 
from many of whom he received honours and medals in 
return, which he highly valued. His greatest art-work was 
his full-size copy in bronze of the great Warwick Vase, 
which was found at Hadrian's Villa, near Tivoli, and 
brought to England by Sir William Hamilton, and is now 
in the Orangery at Warwick Castle. His works were a 
sort of smaller Soho as to show-rooms, etc., but none 
of his productions had any marked merit as to originality 
or taste. He became High Bailiff of Birmingham the 
highest honour at the time and was very proud of the 
orders of knighthood and gold medals which he had 
received from foreign powers. He left unfinished it is 

Dr. Arnold. 203 

said two volumes of Memoirs, which are amusingly 
egotistical, and which seem to show that he was quite as 
' diligent in business ' as devoted to art. 

GENERAL. Under this heading some of the 'worthies' 
who could not be included under any of the previous 
classifications, but who deserve some mention either from 
their associations with Warwickshire, or from their personal 
or public merits, will now be briefly described. 

Thomas Arnold, D.D. (1759-1842), was connected with 
Warwickshire only as headmaster of Rugby School, but 
his influence there, generally as well as locally, requires 
some notice. In 1827, after a distinguished career, he 
became a candidate, and in August, 1828, his new career 
began as master of Rugby School. ' The prediction,' says 
Mr. Colvile, ' of Dr. Hawkins, of Oriel, that " if elected he 
would change the whole face of education throughout the 
public schools of England," ' was soon to be realized, and 
during the fourteen years of his administration and 
example the ' ancient foundation ' has risen to a height 
never attained before. Most of this was accomplished, not 
so much by reforms and changes, as by the new life and 
tone and spirit of the master. Indeed, so great was his 
personal influence that it is reported that some of the 
boys used to say, ' It's a shame to tell Arnold a lie, for he 
always believes you ' a remarkable instance of influence 
on boy-life, fully supported by the later history of the 
school. 'The principal changes/ Mr. Colvile continues, 
' were the transference of the boarding-houses to the sole 
charge of the masters, the assumption by the headmaster 
of the pastoral and ministerial office over the boys, and the 
infusion into school instruction, not only of a larger 
religious element, but of copious measures of English 
composition, modern languages and modern history.' His 
strong personal character, his singular power of attracting 
or impressing, his stern justice and considerate tenderness, 
and his readiness for every emergency, combined to secure 

204 History of Warwickshire. 

a kind of power and influence which produced the most 
beneficent results on the moral as well as intellectual 
growth of the school. He died the day after the school 
summer 'half of 1842, the day before his completion of 
his forty-seventh year, and was buried in the school 
chapel, honoured and mourned by all who knew him. 

Thomas Cartwright (1535-1603), an eminent Puritan 
divine, was born in Hertfordshire, but was appointed by 
Leicester master of his hospital at Warwick, in 1585, with 
a house and a stipend of 50 a year. His life in Warwick 
was earnest and active, and he won every honour ; but his 
restless spirit carried him into serious trouble, and he was 
sent to prison, in the Fleet, for two years. On his return 
to Warwick he resumed his active work in the neigh- 
bouring churches, and he became generally popular by his 
charities and blameless life. He was especially bountiful 
to poor scholars, and apart from his controversies he made 
troops of friends. His principal opponent on Church 
government was Whitgift, and he vigorously maintained 
his principles. He died in 1603, and was buried in St. 
Mary's, Warwick. 

Robert Catesby (1573-1605) was born at Bush wood Hall, 
near Lapworth, and belonged to one of the ' first families ' 
in England. In 1592, during his minority, he married a 
daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh, of Stoneleigh, and he was 
then probably a Protestant. He supported the rebellion 
of Essex, and purchased his pardon by a fine of 3,000. 
He was afterwards engaged in many treasonable plots, 
and is generally held to have been the proposer of the 
famous Gunpowder Plot, in the conclusion of which he 
lost his life in 1605, having been shot at Holbeach while 
attempting to escape when the plot had failed. He is 
described as having been six feet in height, and as having 
a noble and expressive face, very attractive manners, and 
great personal influence over all around him. 

William Croft (1677-1727) was born at Nether Eatington, 

George Daw son. 205 

Warwickshire, and educated under Dr. Blow, at the Chapel 
Royal, Windsor, and was afterwards organist of St. Anne's, 
Westminster. In 1704 he was joint organist, with Jeremiah 
Clarke, at the Chapel Royal, and on Clarke's death in 
1707 he became organist, and in 1708 he succeeded Dr. 
Blow as Master of the Children and Composer to the 
Chapel Royal, and as organist of Westminster Abbey. 
In 1712 he published .his ' Divine Harmony,' anonymously, 
words without music, and giving a brief account of Church 
Music. In 1724 he published his ' Musica Sacra ; or, Select 
Anthems in Score ' ' the first engraved and stamped on 
plates,' and afterwards several other works of secular 
music for violins and flutes. He died in 1727, and was 
buried in Westminster Abbey. 

George Dawson, M.A. (1821-1878), was the most worthy 
of all the ' strangers within the gates ' who have done so 
much for the chief town in the county, and whose name 
and fame will ever have the highest honour. He was born 
in London, was for some years a teacher in his father's 
school, went first to Aberdeen and afterwards to Glasgow, 
where he took his M.A. degree, and after a brief ministry 
at a Baptist Chapel at Rickmansworth, he accepted a 
similar charge in Birmingham. His presence was soon 
felt ; his earnestness, eloquence, and originality attracted 
crowds from all sorts of congregations. He soon outgrew 
the narrow limits of mere creeds as a bond of Christian 
union, and boldly preached that no theological creed 
should be the basis of a Church, but the good works of 
mercy, charity, and care for the neglected. On this basis 
the Church of the Saviour was founded, and became a 
city of refuge for all creeds, united for educational and 
charitable work. The results were remarkable; the old 
narrowness of some Nonconformists was supplemented by 
larger and more spiritual life and practical work, not merely 
in their principles, but in their public worship and private life. 
For thirty years the leaven extended to other places : light 

206 History of Warwickshire. 

and colour were introduced, chants and anthems were sung, 
outdoor social gatherings were arranged, and new life, new 
work, new hopes were developed. The personal charm of 
Dawson won all hearts ; the congregation was large and 
united, the services bright, hearty, genial, and impressive, 
and George Dawson became a great power. No man ever 
did more to elevate the tone and taste of great masses 
of people. ' The common people heard him gladly.' To 
hear him merely read the Scriptures was worth many 
sermons. To hear his sermons, full of the loftiest teaching, 
touching eloquence, human interest, tender sympathy, and 
generous feeling, was a memory for life. Old and young, 
orthodox and heterodox, rich and poor, listened with 
breathless interest to his golden words, and went forth to 
practise the lessons he had given, in the ordinary work 
of life. He was intensely English all round, and outside 
his own people his influence was deep and lasting. He 
took part from the first in all public work. He was an 
eloquent speaker on all great public questions. He urged 
the duty of sacrifices for public life. He was the friend 
and helper of the humble poor, and of the refugees of 
Poland and Italy in the troublous times. He did more 
than any other man to raise the tone of life in the town 
private, public, social, literary, and political. His brilliant 
lectures sent all his hearers to read the books he praised. 
He conducted, without fee or hope of reward, English 
Literature classes for several years a series of lectures un- 
happily not preserved. He advocated physical training 
and manly exercises, and they became the fashion. He 
was first and foremost in all that could refine and elevate 
the tastes of the people. He fought for Free Libraries 
against great opposition. He popularized the study, not 
the mere reading, of Shakespeare by lectures all over the 
kingdom, and has left memories in the minds of all who 
heard him which will never die. His personal influence 
was wonderful wherever he went. All were the better 

J. H. Chamberlain, W. C. Aitken. 207 

for his visit, his example, and his teaching. He was ' at 
home ' in Birmingham. He worked incessantly and suc- 
cessfully for her truest interests and highest culture, and 
the news of his sudden death, after thirty years of manly 
devotion to public duties, saddened all hearts, and left a 
blank in local life which has never been filled. The results 
of his teaching and work will ever remain, for every part 
of local life political, religious, philanthropic, social 
owes an eternal debt to his memory for his unrivalled help 
in raising the standard of private life and public duty in his 
adopted town. 

Two others his fellow-workers and devoted friends 
well deserve a few words in connection with his honoured 
name. They also worked in the same spirit and on the 
same lines, but in different departments of public work, 
and both were also ' strangers within the gates.' John 
Henry Chamberlain was born at Leicester, but lived and 
laboured in Birmingham for nearly thirty years. As an 
artist and architect he enriched the town with its finest 
buildings as to design and usefulness, and was the most 
devoted and eloquent teacher of the greatest principles of 
art. His knowledge, taste and skill, his brilliant intellect 
and unsurpassed eloquence, as well as practical mind, were 
generously devoted to every great public work, and his 
memory will ever be honoured by all who knew him. 
William Costen Aitken came from Dumfries, and for forty 
years gave his untiring energy and splendid services to art 
and the industries of Birmingham, of which some record 
remains in his history of the various trades in the ' Hard- 
ware ' volume of 1866. These three friends Dawson in 
all social and literary work, Chamberlain in the highest 
interests of all real and true art, and Aitken as the scientific 
and artistic teacher of art applied to manufactures will 
ever be honoured as worthies, whose full merits have never 

I ret been adequately praised, in the history of a great 

208 History of Warwickshire. 

Thomas Wright Hill (1763-1853) was born at Kidder- 
minster, but passed nearly all his long life eighty years 
in Birmingham. His earliest tastes were scientific, largely 
influenced by Ferguson's lectures, when he was only nine 
years old, and of which he left a curious account in a 
remarkable autobiography, privately printed in 1859. He 
was first apprenticed to a brassfounder in Birmingham ; 
but the work was uncongenial, and his experience as a 
Sunday-school teacher under Dr. Priestley led him to 
devote himself to teaching, and to the unsurpassed suc- 
cesses of his life. He established first the Hill Top School 
in Birmingham, and afterwards the Hazelwood School at 
Edgbaston, where many eminent men received their early 
training for he was no mere teacher and pupils came to 
him from all parts of Europe. He had a very remarkable 
and original power of interesting boys. He made his 
school a small republic, and trained the boys for the work 
of life.. He encouraged manual labour, as well as games 
and sports. He not only proposed a magazine, but the 
boys printed and illustrated it also, and many excellent 
etchings and early lithographs were produced. The best 
proof of the success of his system is found in the lives of 
his five sons. The eldest, Sir Rowland Hill, was for several 
years his helper in his work ; and all his sons, without 
influence or patronage, won high places : Rowland at the 
Post-Office, Matthew Davenport as a jurist (on criminal 
reform), Edwin at the Stamp Office (with many inventions), 
Frederick as inspector of prisons, and Arthur, who carried 
on the school at Bruce Castle, Tottenham, after Hazelwood 
was closed. As late as 1849 the venerable schoolmaster 
discussed philological and other questions viva voce, and 
in public, and in clear and eloquent words. He died in 
1853, full f honours as well as years, and has been re- 
membered by three generations of pupils and friends, who 
owe to his teaching and example the culture and success 
of their lives. 

Mary Linwood, Dr. Thomas. 209 

Mary Linwood (1755-1845) was born at Birmingham, 
but her parents removed to Leicester when she was six 
years old. About 1782 some mezzotint plates sent to her 
attracted her attention, and she resolved to imitate them 
in needlework. ' She took some ravellings of black and 
puce-coloured silk, and with these copied pictures so 
accurately on white and sarcenet as to astonish those who 
witnessed the effect produced.' Her first attempt to imitate 
painting was in 1785, and with great success. Her ex- 
hibition of her works in 1798 was very attractive, and was 
removed to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dublin, and finally 
into Leicester Square. It included one hundred works, 
one of which, the Judgment of Cain, occupied her needle 
for ten years, and was completed in her seventy-fifth year, 
when her eyesight failed and her labours ceased. She died 
at Belgrave Gate^ Leicester, and her gallery of pictures, 
sold by auction, realized only a small sum. 

William Thomas , D.D. (1670-1738), although not born 
in the county, was Vicar of Exhall, and often a resident at 
Atherston-on-Stour. His special work was his edition of 
Dugdale's ' Warwickshire,' which he issued in two volumes 
in 1730, and to which he added many facts, the results of 
long and wide researches. He claimed that he had visited 
all the churches, and he took great care to give the later 
monumental inscriptions after Dugdale's days, and thus 
increased the value of his work for genealogical purposes. 
He commenced a history of Worcestershire, and he collected 
much material, but his death in 1738 left it unfinished. He 
was buried in the cloisters at Worcester Cathedral, whose 
history he wrote. 



Warwickshire and Leicestershire. Old Popular Legends. Super- 
stitions. Curious Customs. Pronunciation and Dialects. 
Glossaries of Local Words and Phrases. Examples from Sharp's 
Glossary. Comparisons with Neighbouring Counties. 

WARWICKSHIRE is far less famous than many other 
counties for the number and variety of its superstitions, 
folk-lore, and dialect. Its central position among the 
English counties has not isolated it in such respects, or 
preserved so many fables, phrases, and words as might 
have been expected from the influences to which coast- 
counties or border-counties have been exposed. Perhaps, 
indeed, on the whole, it has lost many of its ancient 
characteristics by the influences of the surrounding 
counties Worcester, Stafford, Leicester, and Gloucester 
and to a smaller extent as to Oxford and Northampton. 
No very clearly-marked boundary separates Warwick- 
shire from the surrounding counties so far as folk-lore 
and superstitions, and even dialect, are concerned, except 
that as to pronunciation the speech of Worcestershire and 
Gloucestershire, the voices and accents, ' bewray ' readily, 
and differ materially from the * common talk ' of Warwick- 
shire. This is most notable, of course, in rural districts, 
but even in a large town like Birmingham the Worcester- 

Warwickshire and Leicestershire. 211 

shire and Gloucestershire accent is readily detected, and 
often survives for many years in the ' mixed dialect ' 
which becomes common in large towns. In Birmingham, 
among the less educated people, the 'common talk' is 
more influenced by Stafford than Worcester, and sundry 
peculiarities are very difficult to trace back to their origin 
among so many sources of influence, not merely from 
neighbouring, but even from distant counties. Neither the 
folk-lore nor the dialect of Warwickshire have ever had 
full and careful study, such as Dr. Sebastian Evans and 
his father gave to ' Leicestershire Words and Phrases/ or 
Miss Jackson to her ' Shropshire Word-Book/ or the 
Dialect Society to some of the Worcestershire phrases 
and words and traditions. Warwickshire has so long a 
Leicestershire border on the north-east, that it is not 
surprising to find many of the words and phrases familiar 
in Leicestershire are common to both counties, while in 
the south of Warwickshire the influence of Gloucester- 
shire, and on the west that of Worcestershire, are very 
marked. In all references and examples given it must 
not be assumed that they are exclusively of Warwickshire 
origin, but only that they exist in the county, although 
they may be found elsewhere. Indeed, it is practically 
impossible to prove that any word, phrase, or superstition 
is peculiar to any county without so complete a knowledge 
as no expert is likely to possess. It is only possible by 
some corporate effort on such a basis as the ' Folk- 
Etymology' of the Rev. A. Smythe Palmer, supplemented 
by the ( Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words ' by 
the late J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, in which, in many cases, 
the names of the counties are added to the descriptions 
and origin of the words, that any really trustworthy record 
of county facts and phrases can be secured. Even in 
Dr. J. A. Murray's unrivalled 'New English Dictionary 
on Historical Principles,' while the literary history of every 
word is fully and carefully given, it has been found impos- 


212 History of Warwickshire. 

sible to mark to any great extent those which are peculiar 
to the English counties. It is, perhaps, scarcely possible 
to secure such a work of comparative county folk-lore and 
phrases, so that any of the examples cited must be accepted 
only valeant quantum, and not as final, either as to origin 
or use. 

In a paper read to the Archaeological Section of the 
Midland Institute, Birmingham, in November, 1875, Dr. 
J. A. Langford collected from literary sources, and gave 
from personal knowledge of over fifty years, some of the 
most remarkable of the superstitions current in Warwick- 
shire, but now slowly dying out. From this paper and 
from other sources, personal and special, the following 
examples are given, necessarily without any formal classi- 
fication. The country districts are, of course, the principal 
places where old folk-lore lingers, but even in large towns 
like Birmingham many of the strange superstitions are 
still cherished by the older people, especially those whose 
early life was passed in rural places. Curiously, too, many 
of these old phrases and superstitions are preserved in 
\ fiction ; and ' George Eliot ' (Mrs. Cross) has garnered in 
/ ' Adam Bede ' and other stories more of the most life-like 
and remarkable sayings and proverbs of the Warwickshire 
j folk, especially of the northern part of the county, than 
can be found in any other records of half a century ago. 

Rural Warwickshire is rich in phrases and superstitions 
about weather and birds and garden-lore. A good crop of 
hawthorns is held to be not only a sign of a severe winter, 
but as a provision for the birds in the time of frost and snow. 
A wet Friday and a wet Sunday are always followed by a wet 
week. ' Rain before seven, fine before eleven/ is a popular 
jingle, if not a faithful prophecy, The generally common 
oak and ash leaf prophecy is well known and generally 
believed : ' The oak before the ash, a summer of splash ; 
the ash before the oak, a summer of smoke ' a hot, dry 
summer. If the robin is heard in the morning, it means 

Superstitions. 213 

rain before night ; if in the evening, it will be fine next 
day. The common augury of bees runs in Warwick- 
shire : 

' A swarm of bees in May 

Is worth a load of hay ; 

A swarm of bees in June 

Is worth a silver spoon ; 

A swarm of bees in July 

Is not worth a butterfly.' 

Names popular names of birds are curious, and pro- 
bably special. The woodpecker = hickle ; the goldfinch = 
proud taylor ; the wood-pigeon = queecer ; the water-hen 
= dipchick; the black-cap = black-a-top ; the swift = jack- 
squealer ; the fly-catcher = hewsick ; the chaffinch = pie- 
finch, and sometimes pink ; and the yellow-hammer = 
Grecian, from the supposed Greek letters on its eggs. 

The superstitions are very numerous and nowadays 
absurd, but are often still believed in, and probably have 
had some reasonable origin, and in some cases have had 
a good preservative effect. The robin is almost sacred, 
and the most unlettered clown would never dream of kill- 
ing one. If you burn egg-shells, the hens will cease to lay; 
and if you burn milk, the cows will run dry. If a death 
has occurred, unfasten every lock in the house. If the 
palm of the right hand itches, ' rub it on wood ; it will 
come to good.' If the right eye itches, it means joy ; if 
the left, tears ; but ' left or right, good at night.' If the 
nose itches, you will be kissed, cursed, or vexed by a fool. 
Magpies are famous augurs. If you meet one, cross your- 
self or lift your hat, or you will have bad luck. To see 
one means sorrow ; two, mirth ; three, a wedding ; and 
four, a birth. If you see a shooting-star, whatever you 
wish during its flight will happen, but you will repent it. 
If a grave is left open on Sunday, there will be another 
death before the month is out. It is a common practice 
to shroud a looking-glass before a funeral. If you look 
into a mirror with a corpse in the room, you will see the 

214 History of Warwickshire. 

corpse looking over your shoulder. It is unlucky to carry 
a baby down, instead of upstairs, the first time after its 
birth. As recently as 1869 old women were seen near 
Rugby catching the falling rain on Ascension Day and 
bottling it for future use, with the belief that the water 
would prevent * heavy bread,' by adding a teaspoonful to 
the leaven. It is a common belief that the clock will stop 
when anyone in the house dies. When the master of the 
house dies, the bees must be told, or they will leave the 
hive. When you lose a tooth, you should put salt on it 
and throw it into the fire. If this is not done with children, 
the second set of teeth will be bad. If a pig is killed in 
the wane of the moon, the bacon will shrink in boiling ; if 
at the full, the bacon will swell. 

Many of the superstitions are preserved in clumsy but 
effective rhymes : 

* If in your house a man shoulders a spade, 
For you or your kinsfolk a grave is half made/ 

' If your bees fall sick and die, 
One of your house will soon in churchyard lie.' 

The following are curious, but possibly common : 

1 Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger ; 
Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger ; 
Sneeze on Wednesday, have a letter ; 
Sneeze on Thursday, something better ; 
Sneeze on Friday, sneeze for sorrow ; 
Sneeze on Saturday, see true love to-morrow.' 

Another is also curious as a day-of-the-week ' forecast ' for 

' Sunday's child is full of grace ; 
Monday's child is fine of face ; 
Tuesday's child is full of woe ; 
Wednesday's child has far to go ; 
Thursday's child's inclined to thieving ; 
Friday's child is free in giving ; 
Saturday's child works hard for his living.' 

Superstitions. 215 

In 'Adam Bede,' when he is at work all night at the 
coffin which his father had neglected, the howl of a dog 
disturbed him, and realized the popular superstition that 
the howling of a dog means death a very common belief. 
Another Warwickshire superstition is also preserved in 
the same story 

4 Happy is the bride the sun shines on ; 
Blessed is the corpse the rain rains on ' 

when old Martin Poyser, opening the farm-gate for the 
family to go to church at the funeral of Thias Bede, says : 
' They'll ha' putten Thias Bede i' the ground afore ye get 
to the churchyard. It 'ud ha' been better luck if they'd ha' 
buried 'im i' the forenoon when the rain was fallin'; there's 
no likelihoods of a drop now, and the moon lies like a boat 
there dost see ? That's a sine o' fair weather ; there's 
many as is false, but that's sure ' an excellent example of 
Warwickshire dialect and sound. This forecast from the 
moon is universally believed ; and, further, that when the 
' crescent ' form seems nearly upright, that the moon is so 
tilted that the rain can run out. Another common bit of 
moon-lore is to turn your money the first time you see the 
new moon ; and others are : to bow (or curtsey) nine times 
to the new moon to secure good luck for the month ; never 
to see the new moon through glass ; always to bow nine 
times to the first new moon of the new year, and to turn 
your money in your pocket, to secure good luck for the 

Superstitions about witchcraft have nearly died out, 
but in September, 1875, a 'survival' remained at Little 
Compton, in South Warwickshire, where a labourer named 
Haywood killed Ann Tennant, a woman eighty years old, 
by piercing her with a two-pronged fork, and gave as his 
reason that she was the ' properest witch [he] ever knowed ;' 
that there were ' sixteen more in the parish as should be 
done away with ;' and, further, that many more of the 
villagers had the same belief.' 

216 History of Warwickshire. 

Many other superstitions far less harmful exist still e.g., 
that fern-seed gathered with certain rites on Midsummer 
Day can render persons invisible, especially young women ; 
and Mr. J. R. Wise, in his charming volume (' Shakespeare : 
his Birthplace and Neighbourhood'), says: 'A maiden 
takes some of this fern-seed into a garden at midnight, 
scatters the seed about, and repeats : 

' " Fern-seed I sow, fern-seed I hoe. 
In hopes my true love will come after me and mow.'" 

Other forecasts are found in the ' coming stranger ' seen in 
the red-hot patch in the wick of the candle, or the thin, 
flickering leaf which hangs on the bar of the fire-grate, and 
which not merely foretells the coming of a ' stranger/ but 
also how many * strangers,' if carefully watched before it 
falls. Another candle-omen is found in a sort of ' winding- 
sheet ' seen in a candle, and which means a certain and 
early death in the family. The cuckoo has a sort of lore : 
if you hear the first cuckoo of the year on your left, you 
will have bad luck ; if on your right hand, good luck. And 
the same results follow in the case of young lambs : if you 
see their faces towards you, good luck follows ; if their 
tails, bad luck is certain. Many curious forms of charms 
are still sometimes heard of as, for example, in the power 
of healing which ' Silas Marner ' had, and his cure of 
' Sally Gates,' and the references to the ' wise woman at 
Tarley/ Dreams are, of course, prolific sources of wonder 
and fear. Dr. Langford mentions ' one very curious super- 
stition. A Warwickshire girl once said to me, " Ah ! now 
you have broken my dream." On asking what she meant, 
she replied : " If anyone dreams of any person, or of an 
event of any kind, and someone the next day mentions the 
name of the person or the circumstance of the dream, then 
it is broken, and you need take no further notice of it, for it 
will not come true." ' The cures of rickety children are by 
drawing them through a cleft in a tree, or through a twin 

Curious Customs. 217 

or double ash, and many believed that the health and life 
of the infant were involved in the preservation of the tree ; 
and a case is given in the Gentleman's Magazine of October, 
1804, m which Thomas Chillingworth, of Shirley, carefully 
preserved an ash through which he had been passed as a 

Among the customs which are probably peculiar to 
Warwickshire, two are worth special mention. The memory 
of the massacre of the Danes on St. Brice's Day, in 1001, 
was long kept as a festival. Dugdale records that when 
Elizabeth visited Kenilworth in 1575, 'and that there might 
be nothing wanting that these parts could afford, hither 
came the Coventre men and acted the ancient play, long 
since used in that city, called " Hocks-Tuesday," setting 
forth the destruction of the Danes in King Ethelred's 
times, with which the Queen was so pleased that she gave 
them a brace of bucks and five marks in money to bear the 
charges of a feast.' 

Another Martinmas custom is especially curious, and is 
continued every year without fail even now. This is also 
described by Dugdale; but Mr. W. G. Fretton, F.S.A., 
Coventry, one of the local secretaries of the Society of 
Antiquaries for Warwickshire, has recorded a recent cele- 
bration, of which the following are the principal facts : A 
relic of old village life and land tenures is celebrated in the 
Knightlow Hundred ' Moot ' on Martinmas Day at Knight- 
low, five and a half miles north-east of Coventry, on the old 
London road, just within the parish boundary of Ryton-on- 
Dunsmore, on the high ground at the top of Knightlow 
Hill, where the base of an old cross still remains with a 
hollow, of basin-shape, which stands on a mound of raised 
earth. ' Here at this stone is annually collected for the 
Duke of Buccleuch, by his steward, on Martinmas Eve, at 
sun-rising (November n), what is called "wroth-money" 
or " ward-money," from the various parishes in the Hundred 
of Knightlow. The tumulus on which the cross rested is 

218 History of Warwickshire. 

about thirty or thirty-five feet square, with sides running 
parallel to the road, having a large fir-tree at each angle, of 
which the people round about say that the four trees repre- 
sent the four knights who were killed and buried there. 
The portion remaining of the cross is thirty inches square 
at the top, with a hole in the centre to receive the shaft ; 
and the whole structure corresponds with those at present 
in existence at Meriden and Dunchurch. Its date was pro- 
bably tempore Edward III. There is a mason's mark on 
one side in the shape of a cross, six inches long, which 
shows that it was set up by a master-mason of his trade- 
guild. The " wroth-money " has been collected from time 
immemorial, excepting for a few years at the beginning of 
the present century ; but the Scott family subsequently 
revived it, or " kept up the charter," as it is locally called. 
In 1879, at 6.45 in the morning (November n), the 
" wroth-money " was collected. There were thirty-four 
persons present to witness the ceremony. The steward, 
having invited the party to stand round the stone (the 
original custom was to walk three times round it), pro- 
ceeded to read the " charter, or assembly," which opens 
thus : " Wroth-silver collected annually at Knightlow Cross 
by the Duke of Buccleuch, as lord of the manor of the 
Hundred of Knightlow." The next proceeding was the 
calling over of the names of the parishes liable to the fee, 
and the amount due from each, when the parish, by the 
representatives present, cast the required sum into the 
hollow of the stone. The amounts collected were : Astley, 
Arley, Burbery, Shilton, Little Walton, Barnacle, and 
Wolfcote, one penny each ; Whitley, Radford - Semele, 
Bourton, Napton, Bramcote and Draycote, three-halfpence 
each ; Princethorpe, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Bubbenhall, 
Ladbrook, Churchover, Waverley, and Weston, twopence 
each ; Wolston, Hill Morton, Hopsford, and Marton, four- 
pence each ; Leamington Hastings, twelvepence ; Long 
Itchington, two shillings and twopence ; and Arbury, two 

Curious Customs. 219 

shillings and threepence-halfpenny a total of nine shillings 
and threepence-halfpenny. Ryton pays nothing, although 
the stone is within that parish. The fine for non-payment 
was in olden time one pound for every penny not forth- 
coming, or else the forfeiture of a white bull with a red nose 
and ears of the same colour. The fine has not been paid 
within man's memory. No one seems to know (not even 
the steward of the Duke himself) why or for what purpose 
the money was originally collected, nor why one parish 
should pay more than another.' The custom is supposed 
to be of prehistoric origin (confirmed by Saxon charters), 
and to have some connection with the primitive Aryan 
customs of fabulous times. 

Many old customs have survived only as ' sayings ' and 
proverbs, the origin of which is now unknown. In out-of- 
the-way country places these abound, and while some have 
lost all meaning, others are intelligible and in common use. 
It is common among boys to emphasize a promise by 
linking their little-fingers together, often with the words, 
' Ring finger, blue-bell, Tell a lie and go to hell ;' sometimes 
varied to ' Ring finger, ring bell,' etc. Mr. C. G. Prowett 
suggested that this custom may probably refer to the 
origin of Lady Percy's words to Hotspur : 

' In faith, I'll break my little finger, Harry, 
An' if thou wilt not tell me all things true/ 

Among other couplets are : 

* If the sage-tree thrives and grows, 
The master's not master, and that he knows.' 

'A whistling woman and a crowing hen 
Will frighten the devil out of his den ' 

which in Warwickshire is (for the second line), 'Are neither 
good for gods nor men.' Other well-known Warwickshire 
lines are : 

1 A gift on the thumb is sure to come ; 
A gift on the finger is sure to linger.' 

220 History of Warwickshire. 

1 When Easter falls on Lady Day's lap, 
Beware, old England, of a clap.' 

* March will search, and April try, 
But May will tell you if you live or die.' 

' Even-leaved ash, or four-leaved clover, 
You'll meet your true love before the day is over.' 

And this horse-test is curious : 

' One white foot, buy a horse ; 
Two white feet, try a horse ; 
Three white feet, look well about him ; 
Four white feet, go away without him.' 

It is now fashionable to throw a handful of rice after a 
newly- married pair, but in some parts of Warwickshire 
wheat as well as rice is thrown, and in others the traditional 
' old slipper ' is flung for ' luck/ Fortune-telling by cards 
or omens is little known except from gipsies, but even 
in towns of considerable importance foolish girls, and still 
more foolish women, are constantly found having their 
'planets ruled.' Fairy-lore is rarely heard of now, but 
there are many remarkable ' survivals ' of the ' old beliefs ' 
still to be found in ' place-names.' The Will-o'-the-wisp 
is known as ' Hobady's Lanton,' or ' Hobany's Lantern '; 
< Hob Lane ' at Sheldon and Yardley ; ' Hob's Hole ' at 
Barcheston ; ' Hobbin's Close ' near Alcester, and at Copt 
Heath; 'Hob's Moat' at Solihull ; and 'Hobgoblin's 
Lane ' at Fillongley. 

A careful analysis of the origin and history and changes 
of words, and especially of comparison with those of other 
counties, would throw much valuable light on many dark 
and doubtful questions; and the work of the English 
Dialect Society, and of such patient students as Miss 
Jackson and Miss Burne on ' Shropshire Folk- Lore/ with 
the full details of all old customs, the careful map of the 
variations in even parts of a single county, should have 
the support and personal work of all who can help to 
preserve some records of the fast-fading customs, and 

Pronunciation and Dialect. 221 

superstitions, and proverbs, and phrases which have been 
interwoven in our national life, and without which no real 
history of our strangely-mixed people can ever be com- 
pletely written. 

The dialect of Warwickshire has never yet had due 
attention, and so few are the materials available in a 
literary form, that only long and patient personal researches 
in the nooks and corners of the county can save much 
invaluable material from irretrievable loss. The ' Leicester- 
shire Words and Phrases,' previously referred to, began in 
1848 by a small volume (i2mo., 116 pages), by the late 
Rev. Dr. A. B. Evans, of Market Bosworth, and was ex- 
panded by his son Dr. Sebastian Evans to a large volume of 
rare excellence, for the English Dialect Society in 1871 
a rare and notable example of what may be found by 
systematic and careful researches, and an example well 
worthy of imitation by every county in the kingdom. 
Warwickshire, unfortunately, has only one attempt at a 
Glossary, that compiled by Thomas Sharp, of Coventry, 
early in this century, and which was fortunately preserved 
in a few privately-printed copies by the late Mr. J. O. 
Halliwell in 1865, whose interest in the M.S. arose from 
the facts that its contents ' curiously illustrated the phrase- 
ology of Shakespeare.' This unique authority for Warwick- 
shire words, dialect and pronunciation will be the best 
available means of illustration, generally in Sharpe's own 
words. The diphthong ' ea ' is generally pronounced as a 
long ' a,' ' plase ' for please, * mate ' for meat, ' pase ' for 
pease, ' wake ' for weak. The vowel ' o 'is sounded as ' u/ 
' sung ' for song, ' lung ' for long, and ' wunst ' for once. 
In many cases the final consonant is also dropped, as 
' grun ' for ground, ' fun ' for found, and ' pun ' for pound. 
The vowels ' o ' and ' a ' are very often interchangeable, as 
' drap ' for drop, ' shap ' for shop, ' yander ' for yonder, 
and per contra ' hommer ' for hammer, ' rot ' for rat, 
'gonder' for gander. The letter 'd'is softened into 'j/ 

222 History of Warwickshire. 

as ' juke ' for duke, ' jed ' for dead. The letter ' d ' or ' ed ' 
is added to some words, as 'drownded' for drowned, 
and ' gownd ' for gown. The vowels ' e ' and ' a ' are 
interchanged, as ' fatch ' for fetch, ' laft ' for left, ' bally ' 
for belly. The nominative and accusative cases are per- 
petually confounded, as * They ought to have spoken to 
we? ' Her told him so/ ' He told she so,' ' Us won't hurt her, 
will us ?' Many other similar perversions of plain spelling 
might be mentioned, and the fringes of the county are 
necessarily affected to some extent by the Staffordshire, 
Leicestershire and Worcestershire pronunciations of words. 
All the words in the Glossary are especially Warwickshire, 
but sometimes not exclusively. Only the more remarkable 
words, or variations of meaning and use, need be noted 
here. In many examples only the word or phrase need be 
given, in others some description may be necessary. 

' All along of,' ' an end,' an upright ; ' arsy-versy,' topsy- 
turvy ; * arter,' after ; ' aw,' yes ; ' ax,' ask ; ' back-stone- 
iron/ for baking cakes ; ' badger,' a seller ; ' bad,' ill or 
sickly ; * bulks,' cross strips or ridges over fields ; ' batter,' 
to cohere, as snow in hoofs ; ' barm,' yeast ; ' blench/ a 
glimpse ; ' blown on/ blossom on trees ; ' blowsy/ untidy ; 
* brass/ copper money ; ' breed and seed/ birth and parent- 
age ; 'cap/ to excel ; ' chewer/ a narrow road ; ' clemmed ' 
or * clammed/ hungry, starved; 'clean/ wholly; 'colly/ 
black ; 'cows and calves/ bloom of arum maculatum, and 
' bulls and cows/ lords and ladies flower ; * deaf nut/ no 
kernel ; ' denial/ injury ; ' dither/ tremble with cold ; 
' ditless/ stopper for oven ; ' in dock, out nettle/ a charm 
when nettle-stung ; ' doddered/ a pollarded tree ; ' dowl/ 
down or feather ; ' dumble/ a small wood in a hollow ; 
4 easens/ eaves ; ' egg/ to instigate ; ' etherins/ rods on top 
of hedge ; * faggot/ a female ; ' favour/ to resemble a 
parent ; ' fligged/ fledged ; ' footing/ foot-ale, on working 
at a new place ; ' flew/ shallow ; ' glir/ to glide on ice ; 
'gloom/ fat or greasy; 'god-cake/ gift of sponsors to 

Examples from Sharpens Glossary. 223 

children on New Year's Day ; ' goslings,' bloom of willow ; 
'greats/ groats for puddings ; 'haunty/ of a horse full of 
spirit, not restive ; ' hay-gob,' buck-weed ; * hike/ to swing 
or throw ; ' hob/ side of fire-grate ; ' hocketimon/ cut sides 
of a rick ; ' hull/ shell of walnuts ; ' housen/ houses ; 
'insense/ to inform; ' jack-bannell/ a minnow; 'jack- 
sharpling/ a stickle-back; 'jee/ crooked; 'just-now' or 
' just-nows/ soon ; ' kank/ gossip ; ' lace/ to beat ; ' lawter/ 
lay of eggs ; ' leif/ or ' as leif/ willingly, or as willingly ; 
' louk/ to strike ; ' mawkin/ long-handled mop ; * mawks/ 
a slattern; 'mort,' a great number; 'next way/ directly; 
1 nor/ for than, ' sooner nor do it ;' ' nope/ bull-finch ; ' on ' 
for ' in ' ' her cut a bit out on it/ ' two on 'em ;' ' othergates/ 
otherwise ; ' peelings ' or ' pillins/ parings of apples, etc. ; 
' pelf/ rubbish ; ' pikel/ pitchfork ; ' plash/ to cut and bend 
down hedges ; ' rake/ to cover up a fire ; ' ramel/ rubbish ; 
' ran-pike ' or ' rennpike/ the decayed top of a tree and 
dead branches ; ' reckling ' or ' wreckling/ the last-born ; 
' reasty ' or ' reasey/ bacon ; ' recks/ smoky ; ' render/ to 
melt down ; ' rick-staddle,' supports of rick ; ' sad/ heavy 
as bread or sad-iron ; ' sag/ to hang heavily or swag, 
weighed down ; ' scour/ rapid turn in brook ; ' scrattle/ to 
scratch ; ' seam,' fat or lard ; ' shackling/ idle, loitering ; 
' shog/ shake or throw off ; ' shoul/ a shovel ; ' sliving ' or 
' slinge/ lazy, lubberly ; c sneyd/ the handle of a scythe ; 
' sprunt/ a struggle ; ' stodge/ cram full ; ' stunker ' or 
' thunker/ arable land separated ; ' stye/ pimple on eyelid ; 
'swarm/ to climb a tree; ' swatched/ loosely-dressed 
women, or ' daggled/ ' welly-swatched/ dirty ; ' sword/ the 
skin of bacon ; ' terry/ sticky ; ' tether/ to marry ; ' thack/ 
thatch ; ' thrall/ stand for barrels ; ' tick ' and ' tag/ game 
of bowls ; ' toot/ to pry ; ' tot/ small cup ; ' trig/ narrow 
path, also a game of quoits ; ' unked/ melancholy ; ' up and 
told/ related a narrative ; ' urchin/ a hedgehog; ' us/ our; 
'varsal/ universal; 'wangle/ to totter; 'wattle and dab/ 
plastered house ; ' whamp,' to beat a child ; ' whittle/ 

224 History of Warwickshire. 

to cut ; ' wig,' cake or bun ; ' wizzened,' shrivelled ; ' yaup,' 
loud noise ; * yawnups,' ignorant fellow. 

Another partial Glossary of Warwickshire words is that 
appended to Mr. J. R. Wise's delightful little volume 
* Shakespeare : His Birthplace and its Neighbourhood,' 
first published in 1861, and now extremely scarce. His 
Glossary includes only the words which are found in 
Shakespeare's works, but are still common in Warwick- 
shire ; and although its range is therefore limited, it is 
valuable as a record historically as to Warwickshire, and 
also as to Shakespeare's frequent use of his own ' mother 
tongue.' Mr. Wise notes in his short preface to his 
Glossary 'how very strongly the different dialects are 
marked in England, and the wide difference there is not 
only in the meaning, but in the pronunciation, of the same 
words in Dorsetshire, where the Saxon element is most 
marked, and in the Eastern and Midland counties, where 
the Anglian is more prominent. Thus in the " Venus and 
Adonis" Shakespeare rhymes "juice" as if spelt "Joyce" 
a thoroughly Midland pronunciation of the word. . . . 
And again, in the very next stanza, as Dr. Farmer also 
remarked, " ear " is rhymed, .as it is to this day pronounced 
in Warwickshire, as if it were " air." ' He then gives a list 
of fifty-seven words, which he has himself noticed as still 
in use among the peasantry of Warwickshire, premising 
only that the chief value is in the fact that they are spoken 
still by breathing human beings the same sort as those 
from whose lips Shakespeare learnt his mother-tongue. 
All the words are here given, but the explanations are 
abbreviated : 'Batlet' : a beater used in washing, sometimes 
called a ' dolly,' ' maiden,' or ' maid ' (' As You Like 
It,' ii. 4). ' Bavin ' : the scrapings of chips of a faggot, 
easily lighted ; ' Rash bavin wits, new kindled, and soon 
burnt ' (' i Henry IV.,' iii. 2). ' Bottle ' : a ' bottle ' of hay, 
which Bottom pined for (' Midsummer Night's Dream,' iv. i). 
' Bow ' : which still means a yoke for cattle ; ' As the ox 

Wise's Glossary. 225 

has his bow, sir' ('As You Like It,' iii. 4). 'Biggen': a 
child's cap ; * Whose brow with homely biggen bound ' 
(' 2 Henry IV.,' iv. 4). 'Bravery': finery, etc. ('Taming 
of the Shrew,' etc., p. iv. 3). * Brize ': gad-fly, pronounced 
' breeze ' or ' bree' ('Antony and Cleopatra,' iii. 8). ' Broken 
tears ' : tears suddenly stopped, but sometimes tears with 
sobs ('Troilus and Cressida/ iv. i). ' Childing' : pregnant 
(beautifully applied in 'Midsummer Night's Dream/ ii. 2). 
'Claw': to flatter; 'Look how he claws him' ('Love's 
Labour Lost,' iv. 2). 'Cob-loaf: a badly-set-up loaf, or 
sometimes cake (Ajax to Thersites in 'Troilus and 
Cressida/ ii. i). ' Commit ': to commit adultery ; 'What ! 
committed!' ('Othello/ iv. 2). 'Customer': a common 
woman (' Othello/ iv. 4). ' Dout ': a corruption of 'do out/ 
very commonly used for putting out a candle, used meta- 
phorically ('Hamlet/ iv. 7). 'Dup': from do up, fasten, 
or'sneck' the door ('Hamlet/ iv. 5). 'Doxy': 'neither 
maid, wife, nor widow' (' Winter's Tale/ iv. 2). ' Eanlings' : 
young lambs just ' eaned/ or dropped (' Merchant of 
Venice/ i. 3). 'Feeders': idle, good-for-nothing servants 
(' Timon of Athens/ ii. 2). ' Fore- wearied ' : very tired ; 
'This fore-wearied flesh' ('King John/ ii. i). 'Fardel': 
a faggot, or ' kid/ or bundle of sticks (' Winter's Tale/ iv. 3 ; 
v. 2; and 'Hamlet/ iii. i). 'Gib cat': a torn cat (' I 
Henry IV./ i. 2). 'Honey stalks': white clover ('Titus 
Andronicus/ iv. 4). ' Jet ' : to strut (' Twelfth Night/ ii. 5). 
' Inkles': cheap tape, ' beggars' inkle' ('Winter's Tale/ iv. 3). 
' Irk ' : to make uneasy (' As You Like It/ ii. 3). ' Keck ' 
or 'kex': umbelliferous plants in ditches and hedges 
('Henry V./ v. 2). 'Kindle': birth of rabbits, to litter 
('As You Like It/ iii. 2). 'Lief: soon; 'as lief do so- 
and-so ' (sixteen examples in various plays). ' Lated ' : 
belated, benighted ('Macbeth/ iii. 3). 'Lifter': a thief 
('Troilus and Cressida/ i. i). 'Lodge': beaten down or 
' laid ' corn (' Macbeth/ iv. i). * Loggatts ': an old English 
fame, similar to skittles (' Hamlet/ v. i). ' Loon ': a stupid 


226 History of Warwickshire. 

scamp, sometimes ' lown ' (' Macbeth/ v. 3 ; ' Othello,' ii. 3 ; 
and ' Pericles,' iv. 4). ' Mammet ' : a doll or puppet 
(' I Henry IV.,' ii. 3). ' Master ' : still used as a prefix ; 
'good Master Fenton,' etc. (' Merry Wives of Windsor,' iii. 4). 
' Mortal ': extreme ; very ' mortal in folly ' ('As You Like 
It,' ii. 4). * Nine men's morris ' : a game on the turf on 
a marked ' court ' (' Midsummer Night's Dream/ ii. 2). 
'Noul': the head; 'ass's noul ' ('Midsummer Night's 
Dream/ iii. 2). 'Pash': a rough head, sometimes ' pash- 
head ' (' Winter's Tale/ i. 2). ' Patch ': a fool, a simpleton 
(' Midsummer Night's Dream/ iii. 2). ' Pick thanks ': tale- 
bearers, also ' pick-thanking work ' (' I Henry IV./ iii. 2). 
' Pun ' : to pound or crush (' Troilus and Cressida/ ii. i). 
'Quat': a pimple, pustule, boil (' Othello/ v. i). 'Race': 
a stick, as a stick of ginger (' Winter's Tale/ iv. 2). 
* Ravin ' : to devour (' Measure for Measure/ i. 3). ' Rid ' : 
to destroy ; * The red plague rid you ' (' Tempest/ i. 2). 
'Sagg': to sink down, to tire ('Macbeth/ v. 3). 'Salt': 
applied to Cleopatra (ii. i), and still used of loose women, 
but origin unknown. * Shive': a slice ; 'A shive of a cut 
loaf ('Titus Andronicus/ ii. i). 'Shog': to jog off or 
make off (' Henry V., ii. 3). ' Shovel-board ': a long board, 
marked, on which large metal disks were played (' Merry 
Wives of Windsor/ i. i). 'Squash': an unripe pea-pod 
('Winter's Tale/ i. 2; and 'Midsummer Night's Dream/ iii. i). 
' Statute-caps ' : woollen caps ordered to be worn by statute 
of 1571, for the encouragement of the woollen trade (' Love's 
Labour Lost/ v. 2). ' Tills ' : the shafts of a waggon 
('Troilus and Cressida/ iii. 2). 'Urchin': a hedgehog 
('Titus Andronicus/ ii. 3). ' Wench ': a young maid, still 
used as a term of endearment (' Taming of the Shrew/ v. 2). 
'Whip-stock': a carter's whip-handle; ' Malvolio's nose is 
no whip-stock ' (' Twelfth Night/ ii. 3). 

Another interesting but limited contribution to Warwick- 
shire provincialisms is found in Mrs. Francis's paper on 
' South Warwickshire Provincialisms/ in the * Transactions 


Mrs. Francis s Glossary. 227 

of the English Dialect Society, Original Glossaries/ Series 
C, No. VI., 1876. This list refers only to words collected 
in the village of Tysoe, near Kineton, whose remoteness 
from external influences has secured the survival of many 
words and phrases which have become obsolete in other 
parts of the county. As Tysoe is only fifteen miles from 
Stratford-on-Avon, many words and phrases found in the 
works of Shakespeare are found in this list, thus either 
confirming the notes of Mr. J. R. Wise, or in some cases 
adding to his list. Eight only of the words quoted by 
Mr. Wise are in Mrs. Francis's Glossary, but these are still 
in use in Tysoe ; and some few words common at Rugby, 
in the north of the county, are also commonly used in 
Tysoe. Mrs. Francis's Glossary includes three hundred 
and forty-eight words. Many of those are, doubtless, 
common to other counties, and some even to Leicestershire 
and Worcestershire ; so that her list may reasonably be 
accepted as a summary and series of examples of the 
dialect of the middle counties generally, as well as of 
Warwickshire specially. Quotations of some of the more 
remarkable words will be interesting, as showing the mean- 
ing and pronunciation of Warwickshire words and phrases, 
and all are given as they appear in the Glossary, with 
occasional omissions or abbreviations : 

' Abeare,' to like or endure ' I can't abear it.' ' Adone, 
have done, leave off 4 Adone, will ye ?' 'Agreeable,' willing 
'Well, I'm quite agreeable.' ' Aince a while,' now and then, 
at intervals (sometimes 'wunce in a while'). 'Anointed,' 

]icked ' He's an anointed young rascal.' ' Arter,' after. 
Bangles,' the larger pieces of wood in faggots. ' Batch-loaf,' 
a fresh-baked loaf. ' Becall/ to speak against a person. 
' Bee-skep,' a beehive. ' Bisnings,' the first milk from a cow 
who has just calved ; sometimes, also, ' beistings.' ' Brevet,' 
to sniff about like a dog. ' Cade,' tame, as a 'cade lamb.' 

r Casualty' (pronounced 'kaszhulty'), feeble, shaky 
e's very old and kaszhulty now.' ' Cheeses,' the unripe 

228 History of Warwickshire. 

seed-vessels of the common mallow. ' Codger/ a miser. 
'Dag,' dew 'A nice drop o' dag.' ' Daglocks/ the wool 
cut from round a sheep's tail. ' Dishabil ' (pronounced 
' dish-abil ') ' I'm all of a dishabil.' ' Dubersome,' doubt- 
ful. ' Hisn,' ' shisn/ ' ourn/ ' yourn/ * theirn,'. for his, hers, 
ours, yours, and theirs. * Housen ' for houses, still yery 
commonly used. ' Hugger-mugger,' disorder. ' Hurden/ 
windy, drying. 'Ill-convenient/inconvenient. 'Innards,' 
inside of body, entrails. ' In,' usled for ' of * They be just 
come out in school.' 'Jack bannial/ or 'bannell/ a tad- 
pole ; a very comman word, but in some parts used for 
'stickleback.' 'Joistings,' the keep of an animal out at 
grass. 'Judge/ to suspect. 'Kiver/ the tub which butter 
is made in. ' Knag ' or ' nag/ to tease 'Always a-knagging 
at me.' 'Maunt' (sometimes pronounced 'mohnt'), for 
may not. ' Middling ' has two meanings, according as 
it is preceded by ' pretty ' or ' very' e.g., ' I'm pretty 
middling/ or * We gets on pretty middling/ means toler- 
ably well, or doing well; but 'I'm very middling/ or 
' He's going on very middling,' means he is doing 
very badly as to health, or conducting himself very 
badly. * Moikin/ or ' moukin/ a scarecrow. ' Moil/ 
to work hard. 'Mothering Sunday/ Mid-Lent Sunday, 
when girls pay their mothers a visit a custom fast dying 
out. ' Mummock/ to pull about, to worry. ' Odds/ to 
alter, to make different ' It'll all be odds'd in a bit. 1 
' Ooman/ woman ; generally applied to wife ' my old 
ooman.' ' Out-asked,' asked in church. ' Outs/ leavings ; 
1 orts ' in many counties. ' Padded/ dried at top, applied 
to land. 'Paddle/ to cut with a spud, as thistles. 'Peel/ 
long-handled flat shovel for baker's use. ' Pither/ to 
snatch, pet, or fondle. 'Raggle/ to succeed 'I can 
manage to raggle on/ ' Rimming/ removing to another 
house. 'Riz/ gone up in price. 'Room thy/ roomy. 
' Sad,' heavy said of bread. ' Sarment/ a sermon. 
* Sated/ tired, wearied. ' Scribe/ a poor puling thing. 

Mrs. Pranciss Glossary. 229 

'Sen/ since. 'Share,' a wooden sheath in waistband to 
III rest a knitting-needle in. ' Shut on,' rid of ' I shall be 
glad to get shut on her.' ' Sight/ a great many 'There 
was a sight o' folk.' ' Slom,' right over ' He turned it 
slom over the road.' ' Slorrrmock,' an untidy person. 
'Slop/ a short white frock, gathered into a band at the 
waist, worn instead of a* coat, and sometimes used for a 
labourer. ' Smock-frock/ the long loose, white, ' worked ' 
over-dress, now rarely seen, but which survives in the new 
word 'smocked ' as to the present fashion in ladies' bodices, 
etc. ' Spinney/ a small wood.' ' Staddle/ the framework 
on stones on which ricks are built. ' Swagger/ to satisfy 
or surpass 'Yo was wantin' to see some Wg dale-yos 
(dahlias) ; now, if yo'll come into my garden, I'll swagger 
you/ ' Tageous,' a mispronunciation of ' tedious/ or 
perhaps the original pronunciation of the word 'tewer,' 
a narrow passage. ' Thack/ to thatch. ' Thomasing ' : 
to ' go a-Thomasing ' is to go round on St. Thomas's Day 
begging for Christmas gifts. 'Tisiky/ delicate in the 
lungs. 'Token/ a death-sign ' Summut 'as cum to my 
son, for I saw his token last night : it was a white dove 
flew out of the bed-curtains, aad was gone in a minute.' 
* Tot,' a small mug. ' Turn/ time, season. ' Unaccount- 
able,' very unusual ' It's unaccountable weather. ' Un- 
beknownt,' unknown. ' Unked/ (i) lonely, dull, solitary; 
(2) terrible, ghastly ' His leg is an unkcd sight/ 'Wops/ 
a wasp. 'Warm/ to thrash or beat Til warm you.' 
. ' Watch- ed/ wet-shod, wet through * He came home 
watch-ed and famelled.' ' Wevver/ however. ' Whum/ 
whom. * Wizen/ dried up, withered. ' Worrit/ to tease 
or worry. ' Wratch/ a weak old person. 'W r uts/ oats. 
'Yarbs/ herbs. 'Yed/ head. 'Yent' or ' yaint/ is not, 
often ' t'ain't.' 

Many of these examples are also found in Worcester- 
shire and Gloucestershire, but all help to show very clearly 
the principal characteristics of the Midland dialects ; and 

230 History of Warwickshire. 

as all such phrases are rapidly becoming obsolete, such 
Glossaries deserve the highest praise. 

The dialect of Warwickshire is, in fact, far less marked 
by local characteristics than that of the adjoining counties. 
It may fairly be claimed that it well represents the old 
English, say, of the sixteenth century, and has suffered 
fewer changes than in other counties which surround it. It 
has fewer eccentricities of pronunciation fewer modern 
words than many of its neighbours. Its form and style 
are more nearly those of the English Bible and of the 
works of Shakespeare than those of other counties. It is 
more easily read and understood by foreigners who have 
learned English than is generally supposed. The county 
has for many centuries been the scene of the holiday 
spectacles, the May-Day celebrations and rites and games, 
and many of these have retained their old forms till very 
recently. The morris-dancers died out only some sixty 
years ago. The statute hiring-fairs, or mops, still survive 
in remote places, but are dying out, and leaving few traces 
of their origin and fame, and ' strange, eventful history.' 



Castles, Mansions and Old Houses, and Deer Parks, Warwick Castle, 
Kenilworth Castle, Maxtoke Castle, Tamworth Castle, Astley 
Castle. Baddesley Clinton, Compton Wynyates. Ruins of 
Brandon, Caludon and Coventry Castles. Temple Balsall Hall 
and Church. Combe Abbey, Guy's Cliff, Warwick Priory, Charle- 
cote Hall, Clopton House, Stoneleigh Abbey, Ettington Hall, 
Merevale Abbey, Arbury Hall, Ragley Hall, Coughton Court, 
Pooley Hall. Weston Park, Wormleighton. Deer Parks: 
Charlecote, Stoneleigh, Ragley, Warwick, Arbury, Maxtoke, 

Two of the most famous castles connected with English 
history are within the lines of Warwickshire. The county 
castle, Warwick, has a long and interesting history, and 
although some of its finest rooms were burned a few years 
ago, it has been restored successfully, and now ranks as 
one of the most picturesque of English castles a history 
of seven centuries in stone. Its site, on a lofty rock over- 
hanging the Avon, with a richly wooded park along the 
river, forms a scene never to be forgotten. From the fort, 
or castle, or dungeon in the courtyard, built by Ethelfleda 
a thousand years ago, it has grown to its present vast 
proportions and impressive grandeur. The castle at the 
Norman Conquest was granted to Henry de Newburgh, 
but was destroyed by the Barons in the reign of Henry III. 
and levelled to the ground. Under Edward III. the walls 

232 History of Warwickshire. 

were restored and a stronger gate built. The famous 
Guy's Tower was built under Richard II., and under 
Edward IV. many additions were made. Richard III. 
laid the first stone of a new tower, but Sir Fulke Greville 
restored far more effectively, making the castle more 
like a mansion than a fortress, and forming the great area 
of park and ' pleasaunces.' Robert Lord Brooke was 
a zealous Parliamentarian, and during his absence in 
August, 1642, an unsuccessful attack was made by the 
Earl of Northampton, and the military history of the 
castle was closed. So much has been preserved, and with 
so few changes, that the castle is exceptionally interesting 
as an example of the series of stages in the growth of 
military architecture. Its great extent has been carefully 
surveyed and its details fully examined and described by 
the ablest men of our age. To the mere sight-seer it is 
especially interesting from its contents and its works of art, 
ancient relics, superbly furnished rooms, extensive park 
and magnificent trees, all readily accessible and ' a joy for 
ever.' As an early fort, a Norman keep, a baron's castle, 
a lordly mansion, the attractions and historic interest of 
Warwick are almost unrivalled, and its great gardens, its 
famous huge marble vase, its long line of picturesque river 
and splendid range of park can scarcely be over-praised. 

Kenilwortk, only six miles distant, is a wonderful con- 
trast in every way. Its great halls are ruinous, its great 
park cut up, its tilt-yard scarcely traceable among the 
trees, its ' pleasaunce ' desolate and now mere kitchen- 
garden ground, its great lakes long ago dried up, its once 
impregnable keep with a battered and broken wall. As 
another example of the evolution of military architecture, 
as an object-lesson to vivify the dry bones of English 
history, it is curiously interesting. From Geoffrey de 
Clinton, the Chamberlain of Henry L, and Simon de 
Montfort the Father of Parliaments and John of Gaunt 
* time-honoured jfeancaster ' and Richard II., who built 

Kenilworth Castle. 233 

walls and turrets and the great hall and adjoining tower; 
from ' the favourite ' Leicester and Elizabeth's famous 
visit ; from babbling Laneham's story of the festivities 
down to the troublous times of the great Civil War, when 
the castle was destroyed, never to be restored, is a stirring 
series of chapters in English story ; but far less interesting 
to the crowds of visitors than the little incident some sixty 
years ago, when ' a tall lame old gentleman, who leaned 
on his stick,' rambled among the ruins, chatted with the 
old custodian, and seemed loth to depart, became the 
' Wizard of the North,' and awoke more than the ancient 
echoes of the castle, and re-peopled the ruins with char- 
acters and incidents which the world 'will not willingly 
let die.' The seer of Abbotsford, with his magic pen, 
gave a new and exciting interest to the gray and crumbling 
walls. The story of Amy Robsart and the famous 
Leicester, ' all made out of the dreamer's brain,' almost 
eclipsed the visit of the ' Virgin Queen,' and Kenilworth 
Castle became the great attraction to romantic readers 
from all parts of the world. ' The pen ' has been ' mightier 
than the sword ;' the brave rights of Simon de Montfort 
are forgotten ; the reckless extravagance of Leicester is 
almost unregarded ; the long siege of the castle is ' ancient 
history,' and too dull to read ; the Civil War contests are 
scarcely thought of, and the old hall and the tower where 
Amy took refuge (according to Scott only) are the great 
centres of attraction and interest to the modern visitor to 
the picturesque old ruins and the wrecks of the history of 
seven hundred years. 

Maxtoke Castle, near Coleshill, is in many ways more 
interesting than either Warwick or Kenilworth, for its 
moat and outer walls and its old iron-bound gate and 
gatehouse are scarcely changed during six hundred years, 
and it is the most complete castle in Warwickshire. It 
was built by a Clinton in the reign of Edward III. ; was 
granted to the Comptons by Henry VIL, who sold it to 

234 History of Warwickshire. 

the Lord Keeper Egerton, under Elizabeth, and was after- 
wards bought by the Dilke family, in whose hands it now 
remains. It is in form a parallelogram, with hexagonal 
towers at each corner ; is surrounded by a moat with 
borders of flower-beds ; has a stone bridge, where the old 
drawbridge once hung ; and the iron-work on the massive 
old gate bears the arms of Humphrey, Duke of Bucking- 
ham. A noble hall, dining-room, curiously carved door 
and chimney-piece, an ancient chapel and kitchen escaped 
the effects of a great fire; and the casernes for the 
garrison, the old wheel-timber beams supporting the floor 
of one of the towers an example almost unique make 
Maxtoke Castle one of the most interesting ' survivals ' of 
the ravages of time among old English castles. Its 
lovely situation, on low ground, in a fine old park, and the 
care of successive owners especially the Fetherstones and 
Dilkes have happily preserved this curiously interest- 
ing and almost perfect relic of English military architec- 

Tamworth Castle is another of the ancient castles which 
have remained almost unchanged for many centuries. It 
is just in Warwickshire, although the town is in Stafford- 
shire. It stands on a lofty mound alongside and over- 
looking the Tame, and although showing little more than 
one great tower, when seen from a distance among the 
trees, its walls are unharmed and its interior very interest- 
ing. It was given by William the Norman to Robert 
Marmion, one of his followers, and remained in that family 
till 20 Edward I. (1291), when it passed by marriage to 
the Ferrers and Compton families, and afterwards to the 
Townsends. The larger part of the mound is artificial, 
and probably dates from the early Saxon times, as some 
'herring-bone' work is still visible near the base of the 
road leading up to the castle. Many of the rooms are 
large and lofty, and it forms an early example of the old 
* keep ' tower, adapted for residence as well as defence. 

Astley Castle. 235 

Vestiges of large and deep trenches, called the King's 
Dyke, remain to show that it was considered an important 
post, and was ready to receive and resist successfully even 
a serious attack. It is partially protected by the river 
Anker, as well as the Tame. As the home of the Mar- 
mions and as an ancient castle, it has considerable interest, 
but it has no important historic record, and is now let to, 
and occupied by, an inhabitant of the town. 

Astley Castle, near Nuneaton, is the only example in the 
county of one of the castles of the thirteenth century 
(Edward I.), when a castle was a fortified house with a 
moat. Astley Castle is a small building, almost unaltered 
as to exterior and surrounding walls, with a picturesque 
moat enclosing house and garden, and a stone bridge in 
place of a drawbridge. Its walls are embattled, and it has 
a good gateway from the bridge, but the interior has been 
modernized. The walls are ivy-covered, and the pile has 
an old-world appearance. The Duke of Suffolk, the father 
of Lady Jane Grey, lived in the castle, and after conceal- 
ment in the woods near the moat, he was discovered and 
finally beheaded on Tower Hill. A contemporary portrait, 
a chair and table used by him in his concealment, are pre- 
served as heirlooms in the house. The castle and manor 
passed from the Astleys, by marriage, to Lord Grey de 
Ruthin ; then to the Duke of Suffolk, and afterwards, by 
an exchange of lands, to the Newdegate family, to whom, 
with the neighbouring Arbury Hall the ' Cheverel Manor' 
of ' Scenes of Clerical Life ' it now belongs. 

Brandon Castle and Caludon Castle, both near Coventry, 
were formerly important places, but little more than the 
ground-plan of the ruins of Brandon and some fragments 
of Caludon are now left. At Beaudesert, near Henley-in- 
Arden, the foundations of a large castle, erected soon after 
the Conquest by Thurstane de Montfort, are known only by 
mounds of ruins and the lines of a moat, and its history is 

236 History of Warwickshire. 

Among the fortified manor-houses which followed the 
military castles in more (or less) peaceful times, Warwick- 
shire has several examples of exceptional interest. Bad- 
desley Clinton, near Knowle, is the finest example, but it is 
comparatively unknown, as it lies in a remote park distant 
from road and rail. It is charmingly picturesque, for it 
has a fine ancient moat surrounding its gray walls, and 
quaint gables and chimneys, and its pretty garden parterres 
surrounded on three sides by the rooms of the house, most 
of which belongs to the end of the fifteenth century, with 
some additions of later date, which, however, are so 
venerable and harmonious with the older parts that it is 
really an old-world house, even to the rooms and furniture. 
Early in the fifteenth century it was the property of the 
Bromes, but soon afterwards it passed to the Ferrers family, 
with whom it now remains an unbroken line of thirteen 
generations. It is beyond all doubt one of the two most 
interesting old houses in the county, perfect as a mere 
picture of old life and times, picturesque to an unsurpassed 
degree, and historically memorable as the home of one of 
the early antiquaries of Warwickshire Henry Ferrers, of 
Baddesley, the friend and fellow-worker of Sir William 
Dugdale and of Sir Symon Archer, to whom, as has been 
noted in an earlier chapter, the lovers of Warwickshire are 
eternally indebted for ' materials of history.' 

The other great and famous historic house of Warwick- 
shire is Compton Wynyates, six miles from the site of the 
Battle of Edge Hill. From the ;th Edward I. (1278) to 
our times it has been a cherished treasure of the Compton 
family. The house, unlike Baddesley Clinton, has only a part 
of the old moat left ; but it is far more lofty, extensive, and 
picturesque. It was built in the early years of Henry VIII. 
(circa 15 10), and in the best style of that time. It is a mar- 
vellous and harmonious combination of the best and most 
artistic work in brick, stone, and wood. Its variegated 
colours of brick, its richly-moulded brick chimneys, its ex- 

Brandon Castle. 237 

quisitely carved gables and beams and wainscoting, its 
bold and vigorous and delicate stone carving, its noble 
rooms and great hall, with minstrels' gallery, its ninety 
rooms, with a secret chapel in the roof, its long lines of 
dormitories for soldiers, its venerable, moss-covered, and 
picturesque quadrangle, combine a series of charming views 
which are unequalled in Warwickshire and unsurpassed 
elsewhere. It stands in a secluded ' combe ' among fine 
trees, which conceal it from view till it comes suddenly 
into sight, and impresses the visitor so as to be a memory 
for life. For several years it had a strange charm as an 
almost deserted, but not neglected, house, but it was care- 
fully repaired (not restored) a few years ago, and is certainly 
the most quaint, original, and picturesque old-world house 
in Warwickshire. 

Among the smaller castles in Warwickshire, some, once 
famous, but now in ruins, are worth passing mention. 
Brandon Castle, near Combe Abbey and Coventry, has only 
some grassy slopes indicating the place and lines of its old 
walls. Its builder and its destroyer are alike unknown ; 
but it was a large and important fortress early in the 
thirteenth century, and is supposed to have been attacked 
and ruined by the friends of Simon de Montfort, in conse- 
quence of its then owner (John de Verdon) raising troops 
for Henry III. to attack Kenilworth Castle. After this 
wreckage, it is supposed that Theodore de Verdon rebuilt 
the castle. At the Conquest it was given to Turchill de 
Warwick, and remained in the hands of Norman holders 
till 7 Richard I. (1195), when it was fully garrisoned; and 
in 2 Henry III. (1226) the formation of a great pool, pro- 
bably a defensive moat, was opposed by the monks of 
Combe. In Dugdale's time (ante 1656) * nothing remained 
thereof but the moats and heaps of rubbish ' of the once 
famous castle. 

Caludon, three miles from Coventry, although the few 
remains show a castellated mansion rather than a castle 

238 History of Warwickshire. 

proper, has many marks of an early work of the fourteenth 
century a large moat and important earthworks still 
showing the extent of the site. Its remaining ruins are 
singularly picturesque, although little known. It has con- 
siderable historical and some literary interest, as in the 
reign of Richard II. it was held by Thomas Mowbray, 
Duke of Norfolk, who went forth from it to Gosford Green, 
Coventry, to meet the Duke of Hereford (the famous 
Bolingbroke) before Richard II., each 'to appeal the other 
of high treason,' and to * throw down his gage ' for single 
combat. In the third scene of the first act of 'King 
Richard the Second ' Shakespeare has given a vivid 
dramatic picture of the historic scene of the rebuke and 
banishment of Bolingbroke. 

Among other remains of the smaller castles, of which 
only little is known as to their origin, history, or ruin, 
Beaudesert, near Henley-in-Arden, which was held in 
Simon de Montfort's time and had been built soon 
after the Conquest by Thurstane de Montfort, was the 
principal residence of the family for several generations. 
During the Wars of the Roses it was dismantled, and 
scarcely a trace of its site now remains except the mound 
which marks the keep. Brinklow, seven miles from 
Coventry, has a lofty tumulus, on which tradition records 
that a castle once stood ; but the earthwork, largely arti- 
ficial, is probably only an early British fort, which the 
Romans may have utilized, as the Foss Road passes close 
by, and Roman intrenchments are found around the 
tumulus. Coleshill has some traces of an early castle or 
mansion almost unknown in history. Coventry, or rather 
Cheylesmore, has some highly interesting remains. It is 
supposed that Coventry itself was originally built by 
Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his Countess Godiva, for a 
convent of nuns, about 1043, Dut tne early history is very 
obscure. ' Cheylesmore ' (or Coventry) Castle, of which 
very considerable relics remain, was originally the manorial 

Coventry Castle. 239 

residence of the Earls of Chester, and its earliest known 
state is rather that of a fortified mansion than of a feudal 
castle. It has, however, much latent interest, and although 
much has been done to destroy its original form, some 
remarkable discoveries have been made during the 
summer of this year (1889). In another of the series of 
alterations which have been so often in progress during 
several generations, some of the most important and 
valuable wall-paintings ever found in Warwickshire have 
been discovered. On removing the plaster from one of the 
walls, a very large fresco in colours, singularly clear and 
perfect, has been found. A modern flooring (probably a 
century or so old) divided a lofty hall, or probably chapel, 
into two parts, and the lower part shows about half of an 
exceptionally large ' rood,' with the lower part only of the 
cross, and various figures and inscriptions (one especially 
interesting) of very early date. The best authority (Mr. J. 
A. Cossins, of Birmingham) is doing all he can for the pre- 
servation of these rare relics, and it is to be hoped that 
when these lines are read, these ancient and valuable 
remains of ecclesiastical art may at least have been carefully 
copied, if not reverently preserved. So far as is known at 
the time of writing, they are more than equal in interest, 
because of earlier date, than those once in the Guild Chapel, 
Stratford-on-Avon, which were whitewashed over early in 
the present century, but whose quaint scenes and vivid 
colours have been fortunately preserved in Fisher's careful 
drawings of the 'Frescoes at Stratford-on-Avon,' in 1810. 
* Cheylesmore/ now known as ' The Charterhouse/ was re- 
built by Hugh, son of Ranulph, Earl of Chester, in the 
twelfth century, and it has so much interest in many details 
of early work that, even after its many changes, it ought to 
be carefully preserved. 

Another remarkable relic of the best days of British art 
still remains at Temple Balsall, near Knowle, almost 
unaltered, as to the church and some of the buildings 

240 History of Warwickshire. 

erected by the Knights Templars, who built the church 
and the preceptory in the reign of Richard II. Under 
Edward II. the fraternity was dissolved, and the possessions 
passed to the Knights Hospitallers, who held them till the 
Dissolution. Elizabeth granted the manor to her favourite, 
Robert Dudley, whose granddaughter, Lady Catharine 
Leveson, bequeathed it as a hospital for thirty alms-women, 
who are still liberally supported by the trust. The ancient 
hall or refectory, 140 feet long and of very fine proportions, 
has been spoiled by internal divisions ; but the church 
remains so nearly as it was built by the Templars, that 
it is thought, at the first glance, to have been recently 
restored. It is 104 feet long, 39 feet wide, and 57 
feet high, and without any aisles to spoil its noble pro- 
portions. Its floor slopes upwards from the west door, 
and there is no division of the chancel except by three 
low steps across the floor. On the south are three stone 
seats with a canopied recess and a small niche. The lofty 
east window has five lights, and in the side-walls are three 
windows, with three or four lights alternately, and the 
tracery of all greatly varied and exquisitely designed and 
carved. Over the west door is a fine window of five lights, 
with a Catharine wheel or marigold window of twelve 
compartments. As an example of a preceptory and church 
of the twelfth century, of which neither restoration nor 
neglect have changed any important feature, Temple 
Balsall (or Balsall Temple) is unrivalled in Warwickshire, 
and not surpassed in any part of England. 

Combe Abbey \ near Coventry, is another fine example of 
the substantial preservation of an old monastic foundation, 
although a few years ago it was almost rebuilt in a French 
Gothic style from Mr. Nesfield's designs. Some parts of 
the old Norman building, the quadrangle and cloisters, 
have been preserved, and the famous gallery of portraits, 
and the fact that they were bequeathed by Elizabeth of 
Hungary, sister of Charles I., and that the abbey was so 

Guys Cliff. 241 

closely connected with the Gunpowder Plot, have given the 
place far more than local fame. 

Guy's Cliff) near Warwick, is not only famous as the 
reputed retreat of the legendary Guy when he became 
a hermit, and lived in the cave still shown, but is the 
most picturesque house in Warwickshire. All that is old 
has been carefully preserved, and even the later additions 
and alterations are in excellent taste. The pleasant house 
on the lofty cliff, the fine avenue of trees, the picturesque 
mill, have been too often photographed to need descrip- 
tion ; and nearly opposite the house the rude stone which 
marks the place where Edward's favourite, Piers Gaveston, 
was beheaded in 1312, by the arts of Guy de Beauchamp, 
Earl of Warwick, ' the black dog of Arden/ has given the 
scene historic fame. 

The Priory at Warwick is another fine example of an 
ancient and picturesque house long ago secularised, but 
retaining many of its original characteristics as a monastic 
building. As the Priory of St. Sepulchre (the Holy Sepul- 
chre), it was founded by Henry de Newburgh, Earl of 
Warwick, and his son, in the reign of Henry I. (circa iioo- 
1135), and was granted to one Thomas Hawkins at the 
Dissolution, and after many vicissitudes and the destruc- 
tion of many parts, it was bought by the Great Western 
Railway Company and afterwards sold. It is now in 
private hands, and its venerable remains are carefully 

Charlecote, near Stratford-on-Avon, is well known the 
wide world over as the seat of the Lucys, one of whom 
has been famous as associated with the tradition of Shake- 
speare's deer-stealing exploits, valeat quantum. The house 
is in a fine park, with a stream meandering through the 
grounds, and the building is an excellent example of an 
Elizabethan house. The family succession runs back from 
the twelfth century, when Walter de Cherlcote took the 
name of Lucy, and the family have been lords of Charle- 


242 History of Warwickshire. 

cote ever since. In the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, 
Thomas Lucy was knighted, soon after the house was 
built. The house, built mainly of brick, with stone quoin- 
ings, and the fine gatehouse and garden, are exceptionally 
interesting, and the interior has been practically unchanged 
except as to some fashions of furnishing and some of 
the old portraits and furniture are carefully preserved. 
Near the house is the little modern church, in which some 
remarkable and interesting monuments to members of the 
Lucy family may be seen, and are well worth seeing. 

Clapton House, also near Stratford-on-Avon, belonged to 
a family of very ancient date, and is chiefly famous for the 
munificence of Sir Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London, 
at the end of the fifteenth century, who lavished his wealth 
upon his native town. He built the Great Bridge over the 
Avon, and greatly helped in Church and other work, and 
although his own monument has perished, and its site is 
marked only by a modern altar-tomb, his monuinentum (Ere 
perennius is seen in all parts of the old town where he was 
born. Clopton, as a name, was assumed tempore Henry III. 
by a family one of whose descendants was married to 
Sir George Carew, afterwards Earl of. Totness, to whose 
memories a double effigy and an imposing monument 
remain in the Clopton Chapel in Stratford Church. 
Clopton House, as to some parts, is of the fifteenth century, 
but little of that date remains, and the family is long ago 

Stoneleigh Abbey, near Kenilworth, is one of the largest 
and finest of the ' mansions ' of the Georgian era, and is 
placed in one of the great parks of the county. The 
estates were held by the Crown till the reign of Henry II., 
when a Cistercian Abbey was founded by the monks from 
Radmore (Staffordshire), with very extensive privileges as 
to markets, fairs, and free-warren. Some of the best art 
of the time was lavished on the abbey-buildings, and many 
picturesque remains have been preserved. At the Dissolu- 

Eatington, Merevale. 243 

tion the abbey-lands went to Charles Brandon, Duke of 
Suffolk, on whose attainder they passed to others, and in 
3rd Elizabeth (1560) were bought by Sir Thomas Leigh, 
who erected a mansion among the monastic buildings, and 
partly on the site of the abbey ; but this, in its turn, made 
way for the great mansion built by Edward, Lord Leigh 
a great square brick building, behind and under which the 
old relics except the gate-house of Robert de Hockele 
(1349), and with the arms of Henry II. have practically 
been lost. 

Eatington (or Ettington, as now spelled) is another 
picturesque house of various dates and great antiquity, in 
the southern part of the county, four miles from Shipston- 
on-Stour. Dugdale notes with great pleasure that this is 
' the only one in the county which glories in an uninter- 
rupted succession of its owners for so long a tract of time.' 
Henry de Ferrers held it at the Conquest, and it has 
remained in the same male line ever since. Until the reign 
of Henry III. (circa 1250) it was the principal seat of the 
family, but they afterwards fixed their seat at Shirley 
(co. Derby), and thence took their present name. Eating- 
ton Hall is of various dates as to building, with some few 
fragments of very early date. The late Mr. Evelyn Philip 
Shirley took great interest in the house of his fathers, and 
preserved all that remained. In 1795 'the church was 
desecrated/ and a new one built at Upper Eatington, but 
the tower and some parts of the nave and chancel remain, 
covered with ivy, and are not likely to be 'desecrated' 

Merevale Abbey, near Atherstone, is another survival of 
the ' ages of faith/ and of the admirable art which was 
lavished on the church-work of centuries ago. Robert, 
Earl Ferrers, in 13 Stephen (1147), founded and largely 
endowed a Cistercian monastery among the pleasant, 
sunny slopes of North Warwickshire, and many curious 
lemorials still survive the wreck of the Dissolution days, 

1 6 2 

244 History of Warwickshire. 

when the site was given to Sir Walter Devereux, Lord 
Ferrers of Chartley, one of whose successors sold it to one 
of the Stratford family, in which line it came, by maternal 
descent, to the Stratford-Dugdale family, with whom it 
now remains. The mansion stands on a commanding 
height in a richly-wooded park, and contains some of the 
relics books and papers of Sir William Dugdale, the 
historian of the county. The remains of the abbey church 
are especially interesting, and a great east window a very 
fine example of a ' Jesse ' window is quaint in design and 
rich in colour ; and there are also several sepulchral monu- 
ments in alabaster and stone. As connected with the 
present owners, the house of Sir William Dugdale must be 
mentioned here. Blythe Hall takes its name from the 
small river Blythe, near Coleshill. In 1625 the famous 
antiquary, historian, herald and genealogist purchased the 
manor of Blythe in the parish of Shustoke, and in 1626 
he removed to Blythe Hall, where he passed the rest of 
his busy and useful life over his ' History of Warwickshire/ 
which is generally admitted to be the greatest county 
history which English knowledge and research and in- 
dustry have ever produced. He died at Blythe Hall 
February 10, 1686, in the eighty-first year of his age, 
and was buried in Shustoke Church, where others of his 
family repose in peace. 

Arbury Ha//, near Nuneaton, is chiefly a building of the 
last century, and although not level with modern taste and 
better knowledge of art, is a remarkable proof that the 
love of Gothic art (as Sir Charles Eastlake has shown) 
never wholly died out, nor was its true spirit lost even in 
the darkest days of Georgian ignorance of the principles 
and practice of art. A monastery tentpore Henry II. fell 
in due course, at the Dissolution, to the Duke of Suffolk, 
30 Henry VIII. (1538), and under Elizabeth to Sir Ed- 
mund Anderson, who ' totally demolished the fabric of the 
house and church,' which he afterwards handed over, for 

Ragley, Coiighton. 245 

a considerable consideration, to John Newdigate, Esq., to 
whose successor, Sir Roger Newdigate (says the late 
Thomas Sharp) 'we are indebted for that architectural 
gem, the " Strawberry Hill " of Warwickshire.' This was 
done with a lavish expenditure and very remarkable good 
taste for that age. Imitations of the groinings of 
Henry VII.'s Chapel at Westminster were introduced, and 
various classic remains were brought from Italy, so that 
Horace Walpole had an earnest rival in his classic tastes. 
The park is well wooded, and even in the full light of 
modern aesthetics and art-knowledge Arbury deserves 
much praise as a link in the chain of love of Gothic art. 
Modern readers, however, will be more interested in the 
fact that Arbury is the ' Cheverel Manor ' of George Eliot, 
and therefore very widely known. 

Ragley Hall, at the other end of the county, was built 
by Lord Conway about a century ago, and is a good 
example of Wyatt's ' classic ' style. The estates have 
come down through Marmions, Camviles, Botelers, Rouses, 
Brownes, and Conways to the present Marquis of Hert- 
ford, who has a truly lordly park and a fine gallery of 
pictures on the pleasant banks of the Arrow, near Alcester; 
and close by is another famous old ' Court.' 

Coughton Court, near Alcester, was noted by Leland 
on his visit : ' Mr. Throgmorton hath a fayre mannour 
place moated at Coughton ' a manor which came to the 
family in the reign of Henry IV. (circa 1399-1413), and 
has remained in the same hands. The fine turret-gateway 
is said to have been removed from Evesham at the Disso- 
lution, but Dugdale merely records (and he does not often 
give so much building detail) that it ' was intended that 
the house should be finished in the same style.' Some of 
the windows, probably, were brought from Evesham, and 
the principal parts of the house are of the best years of 
Henry VIII., but with numerous alterations of the worst 
period of Charles II. The gate-house is a specially fine 

246 History of Warwickshire. 

example of the early Tudor style, and the stone selected 
was so excellent that the details seem as fresh and clear as 
any work of recent date. 

Pooley Hall) near Tamworth, was held by the Marmions, 
of Tamworth, in the time of Stephen, with other lands at 
Polesworth, but passed to the Cokain family by marriage, 
and the * Mannour-house ' at Pooley was built by Sir 
Thomas Cokain in 22 Henry VII. (1506). It is a remark- 
able survival of the castellated mansions which began to 
replace the castles and fortalices of the more troublous 
times. The remains are singularly picturesque, but have 
suffered many changes and are almost ruinous, but enough 
is preserved to be greatly interesting. 

Kenilworth Castle is not only remarkable as a Norman 
fortress and as still showing the ruins of the Great Hall of 
John of Gaunt and the Leicester buildings erected by the 
favourite of Elizabeth, but it has one well-known portion 
which is a rare and fine example of ' evolution ' in archi- 
tecture the great gate-house. It was also the work of 
Robert Leicester, circa 1565, and its turret corners are 
massive and handsome, but about a century later the two 
Gothic gables were added, to finally de-militarize the build- 
ing and to add residential rooms. The Rev. E. H. Knowles, 
the learned historian of the castle, estimates the date as 
about 1656, as Dugdale's print shows the gate-house before 
the addition of the gabled rooms. 

Kingsbury Hall (or Manor-house), between Coleshill 
and Tamworth, marks the site, according to Dugdale, of a 
seat of the Mercian kings, where Bertulf held a great 
council in 891. The Countess Godiva held this and many 
other manors near, and in the reign of John (1199-1216) 
it came by marriage to Peter Bracebrigge, whose descen- 
dants lived there till Elizabeth's reign, when they sold it 
to the Willoughbys of Middleton. The present farm- 
house hall has some walls and windows probably not 
earlier than the reign of Elizabeth, but the remains of a 

Weston Park, W ormleighton. 247 

moat and the choice of the site a cliff above the Tame 
indicate clearly, that many centuries earlier Kingsbury was 
an important position. 

Weston Park, near Shipston-on-Stour, has no traces of 
the great sixteenth-century house described in Thomas's 
Dugdale, which was levelled and a new house built about 
a century ago. The Sheldon family had ' a park ' of three 
hundred acres, which was to be ' called Weston Park for 
ever.' The present house, large and stately, has no special 
merit, but the builder ^ the old house William Sheldon, 
who died in 1570 ,;as the first to introduce tapestry- 
weaving into England. He possessed a series of maps of 
the counties of England on a very large scale, and with 
many curious details. They were woven under his direc- 
tion, and he hung them on the walls of his great hall at 
Weston. In 1781 the library and furniture at Weston 
were sold, and the tapestry-maps were bought by Horace 
Walpole for thirty guineas. Walpole presented them to 
Earl Harcourt, who built a special room for them at Nune- 
ham Courtney, but some of them (at least) were given to 
the Museum at York, where they were hung some years 
ago. * The maps are so well executed that the rivers, hills, 
clumps of trees, churches, and even windmills,' are clearly 
shown. Those at York represent principally the Midland 
counties, of which they would be a very interesting record, 
if they should prove on examination to give facts and 
details not noted in the maps of the sixteenth century, 
which were generally on a small scale, and from which 
many local sites and places were necessarily omitted. 

Wormleighton, also in South Warwickshire, is so remote 
as to be rarely visited and little known. From the Earl of 
Mellent at the Conquest, and Geoffrey de Clinton, it passed 
in 22 Henry VII. (1506) to John Spencer (afterwards Sir 
John), and is now the property of Earl Spencer of Althorpe, 
the Spensers of Wormleighton having settled later in 
Northamptonshire. The manor-house at Wormleighton 

248 History of Warwickshire. 

dates from the later years of Henry VIII., but is a very 
fine specimen of the best architecture of that time, and 
before the decadence under Elizabeth and James. Although 
now only a farmhouse, there are many interesting and 
striking portions of the old house left. Some portions 
must have been removed, as Dugdale describes the place 
as ' a fair mannour house, wherein he [Sir John Spencer] 
had his residence with sixty persons of his family, being a 
good benefactor to the Church in ornaments and other 

Many other ancient or notable houses exist in various 
parts of the county, and some of them singularly complete 
and interesting after the chances and changes of two or 
three hundred years. Any old house merely architecturally 
or archaeologically remarkable has been purposely omitted, 
and only those which have some historical or biographical 
associations have been included in this summary. The 
' Bibliography' appended to this volume will include the 
titles and some notes of the works concerning Warwick- 
shire in which fuller details and descriptions may be 

DEER PARKS in Warwickshire are neither so numerous 
nor so famous as in some other counties, but as their prin- 
cipal historian (the late Evelyn Philip Shirley) was a 
Warwickshire ' gentleman,' and has left some account of 
them, a few details may reasonably be given here as supple- 
mental to the * ancestral homes ' already described. Seven 
only of the forty ( shires ' of England have any famous 
deer-parks, but Warwickshire has some twelve or fourteen 
of more or less interest. The time of Elizabeth was most 
noteworthy for the formation or preservation of deer-parks, 
and it has been estimated that they were seven hundred in 
number in England during her long life. Many parks, 
like Charlecote, were formed during her reign ; but now, 
probably, not more than half that number, all told, could 
be found. The Civil War was one great source of 

Deer Parks. 249 

the destruction of deer-parks, and an anonymous writer 
(' J. P. B.') of a very interesting paper records that 
Charles II. found, on his accession, that deer were so 
scarce, even in the royal parks, that he bestowed a 
baronetcy on a gentleman in the Isle of Ely who sent him 
some deer. The extravagance of the gentry and nobles 
under Elizabeth, the large sales of land for cultivation, and 
the troubles of the Civil War time, combined to reduce the 
deer-parks generally ; and in Warwickshire, while Charle- 
cote flourished, parks like Fulbroke and others were neg- 
lected and opened for farms. Some of the oldest parks 
were connected with Warwick Castle, such as Haseley, 
Wedgenock, and Grove; and the latter two still remain, 
but Haseley was disparked some two hundred years ago. 
Sutton Coldfield Park, another very old one, is still pre- 
served almost unaltered, but has long lost its deer, and is 
now only a vast woody paradise for the thousands of 
Birmingham residents and the teeming population of South 
Staffordshire ; while the northern portion of that county 
has the vast area of Cannock Chase, in which a few wild 
red deer still remain. Kenilworth had a Great Park when 
Elizabeth paid her famous visit to her favourite Leicester, 
and there were nearly eight hundred acres devoted to red 
deer. ' The circuit of the castle, manors, parks, and chases 
lying together contain at least nineteen or twenty miles, in 
a pleasant country, the like for strength, state, and pleasure 
not being within the realm of England/ During the Civil 
War the park was divided and cut up into farms, so that 
the ruins of the castle stand in a very limited area, and the 
visitor gets no adequate idea of the former magnificence 
and extent of the possessions of Robert Dudley, Earl of 
Leicester, when he entertained his Queen with such lavish 
hospitality and splendour for seventeen days in July, 1575. 
The historian Dugdale, who never indulges in elaborate 
description or exaggeration, gives a graphic account ; and 
Gascoigne's ' Princely Pleasures of Kenilworth,' and the 

250 History of Warwickshire. 

amusing details given in Robert Laneham's ('gentleman 
mercer, of London ') ' Letter ' are too well known and too 
well worth reading at length to require any of the details 
to be quoted here. There can be scarcely a doubt that 
Shakespeare, then a lad of eleven, saw some of those 
1 Revels/ and they seem to be clearly referred to, with 
other local incidents, in the brilliant lines of the ' Mid- 
summer Night's Dream ' (Act i., Scene 2), in the courtly 
conversation of Oberon and Titania. 

Among other deer-parks in Warwickshire were a park 
near Astley Castle, to which ninety acres were added in 
1497, but, except some few fine trees, no remains exist ; 
the Great Park of Stoneleigh, of nearly six hundred acres 
with nearly five hundred fallow deer, which, with its grand 
trees, although not one of the oldest, is the most famous in 
the county ; Shuckburgh, with a hundred and twenty acres 
and about two hundred fallow deer ; Charlecote^ with two 
hundred acres and four hundred red (or fallow) deer; 
Compton Wynyates, em parked circa 1520, but of which few 
traces remain ; WestonPark (circa 1546), but, like Compton, 
disparked about a hundred years ago ; Eatington (or 
Ettington, as Mr. Shirley preferred to call it in his later 
life), which existed in 1653, and was emparked long before, 
but no date can be given a park of which Mr. Shirley 
was very proud, for it covered over four hundred acres, 
with two hundred light and dark coloured fallow-deer ; 
Fulbroke, originally a royal hunting preserve, emparked 
circa 1418, but disparked circd 1600, when portions of a 
splendid gateway and other buildings were pulled down 
and some of the wreck removed to Compton Wynyates, 
and in 1615 the park was purchased by Sir Thomas Lucy, 
who did not empark Charlecote till later ; so that if Shake- 
speare did steal deer, it would have been from Fulbroke, 
and not Charlecote ; and the late Mr. Charles Holte Brace- 
bridge showed very clearly that the whole deer-stealing 
story was extremely doubtful 

Deer Parks. 251 

Ragley Park (Marquis of Hertford) is not of very ancient 
date, but finely timbered and well stocked with deer ; and 
a neighbouring park at Arrow is of very ancient date, as it 
was emparked by Sir Robert Burdett in 1334, and when 
Edward IV. was hunting there he shot a favourite white 
buck, and Thomas Burdett, ' openly wishing the horns in 
his belly that moved the king so to do, being arraigned 
and convicted of high treason for those words, upon infer- 
ence made that his meaning was mischievous to the king 
himself, he lost his life for the same.' One o .0 oldest 
parks now remaining in the county, and stiu Liocked with 
deer, is that around Maxtoke Castle^ near Coleshill, which 
probably dates from early in the fourteenth century, and 
which was considered an old park in 1522, when its owner, 
Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, was attainted of 
high treason. Packington, near Hampton-in-Arden and 
Coleshill, was emparked by Sir Clement Fisher early in the 
reign of James I. (circa 1605), with five hundred acres and 
large herds of deer ; but it is better known in the county 
for its large number of most ancient and picturesque oaks, 
which have attracted artists and delighted patrons of art 
for more than fifty years. Arbury has a fine park, dating 
from about the middle of the last century ; and Merevale, 
which lost all its deer in 1656, has been restocked 
during the last twenty-five years with about one hundred 
'head' in its nearly two hundred acres of magnificent park. 
The latest-formed park is Clopton, near Stratford-on-Avon, 
enclosed circa 1850. Aston Hall> close to Birmingham, had 
a large park around its fine old hall from 1610, and was 
well stocked with deer as late as circa 1818 ; but only forty 
acres around the hall now remain as a People's Hall and 



Old and New Cities : Coventry and Birmingham. Historic'Coventry, 
St. Michael's Church and St. Mary's Hall, Charterhouse and 
Recent Discovery, Changes of Industries. Birmingham : Early 
History, Antiquities, Gilds, St. John's Chapel and Popular Vote, 
Civil War Time, Restoration Days, City of Refuge, Growth 
of Manufactures, Social and Political Progress, Incorporation 
and Rapid Development, Free Public Libraries and Municipal 
School of Art, Educational Institutions, Political History, Varieties 
and Extent of Trades. Leamington ; Stratford-on-Avon. 

COVENTRY. Warwickshire contains two cities, one being 
one of the oldest, and the other the very newest, in English 
annals. Coventry, the 'city of the three tall spires,' has 
held the title of an episcopal see (Lichfield and Coventry, 
sometimes alternated Coventry and Lichfield) almost from 
the time of Leofric, eight hundred years ago. Birming- 
ham became a 'city' only in January of the present year 
(1889). The city of Coventry, as a 'see/ arose from the 
monastery founded by the Earl Leofric and his Countess 
Godiva early in the eleventh century, and a century later 
the monastery rose to the rank of a cathedral and its Prior 
held the position of a mitred abbot and sat in Parliament 
as a spiritual peer. ' Coventre ' and ' Coventria ' were 
the ancient names of the city from the foundation of a 
religious house, of which Sancta Osburga was the Abbess, 
as early as the seventh century ; but this was destroyed 

Coventry. 253 

circa 1016 by Edric, who had overrun Mercia and destroyed 
many of the villages and towns. On the site of the ruins 
of the abbey, Leofric and Godiva founded a monastery circa 
1043 (Edward the Confessor), which they endowed and 
decorated munificently, as noted in an earlier page (p. 19). 
Leofric died in 1057, and the couplet in the stained glass 

' I, Luriche, for love of thee, 
Do make Coventre toll free ' 

is enough to show how baseless is the later legend of his 
barbarous condition of Godiva's ride through the city, 
which was first publicly celebrated as a procession so late 
as the reign of Charles II. Although the affix 'tre' is 
supposed to be British, there is little doubt that a Roman 
vicinal way passed through the place. In 1337 the lord- 
ship of the manor, as that of Cheylesmore, was annexed to 
the Dukedom of Cornwall (Edward the Black Prince), but 
under George IV. the manor was sold to the Marquis of 
Hertford. In 1344 the town was incorporated, having 
previously obtained various charters for paving, for a 
common (public) conduit, and for an exemption from toll 
in all England. In 1335 the walls were begun, and 
Richard II. gave stone from Cheylesmore Park for the walls 
and the two principal gates; and in 1397 he appointed 
Coventry as the place for the Dukes of Hereford and 
Norfolk to fight out their quarrel, and he came in person 
to Gosford Green, outside the city, attended by all his 
peers and an army of 10,000 men. In 1404 a Parliament 
was held in the Great Chamber of the Priory, and as the 
writs which summoned it required that 'no lawyer or 
person skilled in the laws should be returned/ it became 
famous (and unique) as the Parliamentum Indoctorum : 
the Legislature of the Unlearned. Henry VI. and his 
Queen made several visits to Coventry, and in 145 1, as a 
mark of favour, Henry made the city, with certain hamlets 

254 History of Warwickshire. 

and villages adjacent, an entire and separate ' county/ and 
raised the Bailiffs to the rank of Sheriffs. 

In 1459 another Parliament assembled in Coventry, 
when the Duke of York and others were ' attainted,' and 
some chronicles have called that assembly the Parlia- 
mentum Diabolicum. In the contest between Henry VI. 
and Edward IV. the citizens were loyal to Henry, and when 
Edward reached Coventry in 1470 the gates were closed 
against him, and he afterwards, when safely seated on the 
throne, withdrew the privileges of the city, and restored 
them only on the payment of a fine of five hundred marks. 
In 1485 Henry VII., victorious from the Bosworth Field, 
arrived in Coventry and be-knighted the Mayor. In 1565 
Elizabeth, in her summer ' progress,' visited the city. In 
1569 Mary, Queen of Scots, was brought to Coventry, 
from Tutbury, for greater security, and is traditionally 
said to have been lodged in the Queen's Chamber part 
of St. Mary's Hall. In 1617 her son James was warmly 
welcomed at Coventry ; but in 1642 the citizens closed 
their gates against his son (Charles I.) ; and when, at the 
Restoration, Charles II. came into place and power, he 
employed five hundred men for twenty-four days in dis- 
mantling the walls and gates the walls three miles in 
circumference, and with thirty-two towers and gates. 
James II. was in Coventry in 1687, and William III. 
passed through the city in 1690 altogether such a royal 
record as few cities can surpass or even rival. This mere 
outline of facts and dates will suffice to show that the 
ancient city has had a * strange, eventful history/ and 
happily few cities have a more complete and perfect 
historical record, so far as old documents, charters, gild- 
books, letters, seals, and account-books can throw light 
upon the dark places of the past. The records and muni- 
ments, long neglected, but left unharmed except by time, 
have, thanks to several generations of Coventry citizens, 
been preserved, and still later overhauled and cared for. 


Coventry. 255 

The labours of Thomas Sharp, fifty years ago, and of 
John Fetherston, twenty years ago, have left the record- 
wealth of Coventry unrivalled as to extent and condition 
a wondrous treasury of the priceless memorials of English 
life and progress for many centuries. 

Although so much manuscript history has been pre- 
served, vast masses of monumental history have been 
destroyed or buried beyond recall. The wild revenge of 
Charles II. broke down relics of the old times which would 
have been appreciated and understood as ' history in 
stone ' with the greater lights of later days. The Disso- 
lution and the Restoration alike have much to answer 
for, as well as the ever-maligned Cromwell and the Civil 
War. Even the exact site of the Cathedral was uncertain 
till some thirty years ago, when the removal of some 
buildings disclosed some of the foundations, and indicated 
the lines of the place. These fragments, with excellent 
and praiseworthy taste, have been left uncovered now, 
and help to show how important and interesting a building 
disappeared at the Dissolution, and how bright a light 
is thrown on the reports of the Commissioners of 
Henry VIII. during their visitations of the religious 
houses. The old remains of Coventry, which are so fre- 
quently uncovered during excavations for new buildings, 
are interesting enough to be a national trust. The pre- 
servation of 'ancient monuments' should not be limited 
to ' schedules ' of prehistoric remains ; but a public officer 
should examine and report, and a public fund should 
provide for the preservation or record of many of the 
surviving relics of the 'good old times.' 

St. Michael's Church is not only the most conspicuous, 
but one of the most interesting relics in Coventry, and, with 
one exception, the largest parish church in England. Its 
grand tower and graceful spire are landmarks for miles 
around, and the details of its carving are still charming, 
although sadly worn and crumbling during its long four 

256 History of Warwickshire. 

hundred years. Not only the height and grandeur of its 
tower and spire, but the fine proportions of its interior, are 
universally appreciated and admired, and the citizens of 
Coventry, with some help from the county of Warwick, 
have formed a munificent fund for the restorations, now 
nearly completed, with excellent judgment and good taste. 
The other two of the ' three spires' Trinity Church and 
Greyfriars, have also some notable history, but no details 
can be given here, nor of the many other picturesque 
historic remains in the city with very few exceptions. 

St. Mary's Hall, close to St. Michael's, in a picturesque 
old ' lane/ is full of interest to historian, architect, and 
artist. It is a superb example of the domestic, as con- 
trasted with ecclesiastical, architecture of four centuries 
ago. It was built circa 1400 as the house of the Gild, 
and except from the ' corroding tooth of time,' it remains 
untouched. Its exterior is massive, grand, and impressive ; 
its great window a superb work of art in stone, with its 
rich mullions, worn niches and exquisite ' tone ' of dark- 
red sandstone. Its Great Hall, with the large ancient 
tapestry (probably of the time of Henry VII.), is an ' old- 
world ' study, and every nook and corner is artistic and 
historic. The old manuscripts and merchants' marks, 
seals, trade insignia, and volumes full of rare autograph 
letters, of all dates, are marvellous illustrations of four 
centuries of English life. 

Ford's Hospital, in Greyfriars' Lane, is a wonderfully 
picturesque, half-timber house, around a small court of six- 
teenth century date, also unchanged, since it was founded as 
a home for poor women by Richard Ford in 1529. Bablake 
Hospital, too, founded by Thomas Bond in 1506 for forty 
poor men, and later for twenty-four boys, who are fed and 
clothed and educated, has also much interest. The Free 
School (1572), which was formerly the Hospital of St. John, 
is another of the many charities (or foundations) of the 
city, which has also its ancient look. Another peculiarly 

Coventry. 257 

interesting relic of old Coventry is the Old Palace Yard, 
which still retains most of the external forms which were 
seen by the royal and noble visitors to the city generations 
ago. This quaint and curious series of buildings, sur- 
rounding a long, large yard or court, has just been sold by 
auction. Its future is unknown ; but if it cannot be saved 
from destruction, plans and measurements and photo- 
graphs should be taken as a record of what so ancient a 
building was four hundred years ago. 

Grey Friars monastery is now represented by little more 
than the spire (which forms one of the famous three), but 
originally it was a very important place. It was founded 
in 1324, and the church in 1358, but only the fine octa- 
gonal tower survived the Dissolution, and it stood in lonely 
dignity till the modern church was built. The White 
Friars monastery was founded in 1342, and many and 
extensive remains of its former dignity are mixed up in a 
union workhouse notably, part of the cloisters over which 
is the old dormitory. The gate of the chapter-house and 
the lines of the old church are among the remains of the 
once famous 'house.' The Charterhouse, founded in 1381, 
has no important remains, except a piece of the work of 
the bridge, and of some other parts, which have been used 
up in the numerous changes during many years, but, as 
already mentioned in a previous page (239), some dis- 
coveries of fresco work on the walls have given some hope 
that still further discoveries may be made. One remark- 
able example of the losses of old relics and of the laudable 
attempt to secure a record of their existence, site, and 
purpose is worth quoting. On a corner of the building 
now called the Pilgrim Inn, in Ironmonger Row, is the 
following inscription : 

' Upon this site stood the large and very ancient edifice called The 
Pilgrim's Rest. It was supposed to have been the Hostel or Inn for 
the Maintenance and Entertainment of the Palmers and other Visitors 
to the Priory of Benedictine Monks which stood to near the East- 
ward. It became ruinous, and was taken down A.D. MDCCCXX., when 
this house was erected.' 



258 History of Warwickshire. 

No formal remains, except in manuscripts, are now found 
of the religious dramas mysteries and moralities for 
which Coventry was famous in the Middle Ages. Most of 
these were played on portable stages ; but one especially 
local the old Coventry play, * Hock Tuesday,' founded on 
the massacre of the Danes was played before Elizabeth at 
Kenilworth in 1575 ; and the costs of such performances 
were generally paid by the numerous Gilds which abounded 
in Coventry, and of whose * books ' and ' records/ unhappily, 
too few now remain. 

Coventry is, in fact, full of the quaintest and most pic- 
turesque old buildings, and even houses which have no 
special history have all the charm of age. Even now, 
when so much has been done, new discoveries of old facts 
may be fully expected, and history may yet be enriched by 
the patient and unselfish care and research of antiquaries 
like Mr. W. G. Fretton, F.S.A., who knows every nook and 
corner of the ancient city. 

Coventry Cross has long been so well known by tradition 
and history that it must be mentioned as once ' one of the 
chief things in which the city most glories,' and which for 
* workmanship and beauty was inferior to none in England.' 
It was begun in 1541 and finished in 1544, and it replaced 
an earlier one of 1423. It was hexagonal in plan, fifty- 
seven feet high, in 'three stories, and seven feet wide at its 
base, with eighteen niches adorned with Saints and Kings, 
some of which had been saved from the White Friars. In 
1760 only the lower and part of the second story, with a 
statue of Henry IV., remained, all much defaced, and all 
these remains were removed in 1771. Several early draw- 
ings confirm the report that Coventry Cross was a very 
exceptional example of late Tudor style in stone and metal 

At the Dissolution, the City of Coventry bought large 
quantities of the old Church lands, buildings, etc., from the 
Crown, including the Priory buildings, the Mote House, 

Coventry. 259 

the Grey Friars, and later, in the reign of Edward VI., the 
lands and possessions of the many Gilds and Chantries 
which were then dispersed. The Dissolution had, however, 
caused the rapid decrease of the city, and in 3 Edward VI. 
(1548) the population had fallen from 16,000 to 3,000 
persons, with a general decay of trade, so that additional 
fairs were established to attract the masses of the people to 
the almost deserted city. The list of Mayors is complete 
from 21 Edward III. (1347). The Gilds were very nume- 
rous the Merchants, Trinity, St. Katherine's, the Sheremen 
and Taylors, Corpus Christi, and many others ; and the 
chantries, almshouses, pensions and indemnities, hospitals 
and schools, show how great and important a place the 
city of Coventry was during the Middle Ages. 

The modern history of Coventry is principally industrial. 
For many years it had been famous for its ribbon manufac- 
tures, but the French treaty seriously affected its prosperity 
and paralyzed its trade. One department, however, became 
a new departure, and has held its ground the use of the 
Jacquard loom for the production of pictures and letters on 
ribbon with perfect clearness and artistic style, at very low 
prices ; so that a large demand has been secured, and a 
permanent novelty seems to have been added to the in- 
dustries. One branch of this supply book-markers is 
well known, and not only the originator, Mr. Stevens, but 
others, have for many years secured a large and increasing 
demand. Another branch of textile productions in trim- 
ming has been developed by Messrs. Cash, and practically 
the textile industries have not only been revived, but 
greatly extended, during the past ten or fifteen years. Even 
cotton-spinning, which was first accomplished by machinery 
in Birmingham about the middle of the last century by 
John Wyatt and Lewis Paul, has obtained a place in 
Coventry, and also weaving ; but while the cotton-mill 
built in Birmingham was turned into a rolling-mill about 
ninety years ago, and the Lancashire mills and looms still 


260 History of Warwickshire. 

stand supreme, some extensive factories exist at or near 
Coventry, and have been more or less successful during the 
past ten or twelve years. The manufacture of elastic web- 
bing, which rose so rapidly, and which is a great industry 
at Nottingham, had also become an important manufacture 
in Coventry in 1862, and is still continued under the very 
severe competition of other places. Woollen and worsted 
goods, court-lace, and carriage-trimmings are also made in 
great quantities, but even silk-dyeing is an important 
trade. The watch manufacture has long been famous as a 
Coventry industry, and Coventry watches of the best class 
have probably never been surpassed. It is curious that the 
' movements ' or ' materials ' of watches are principally 
made at or near Preston (Lanes.), and the cases in Bir- 
mingham ; but the ' Coventry watches' still hold their own, 
even against the severe competition of the French, Swiss, 
and American importations, and the machine-made watches 
with interchangeable ' movements,' which are made in Bir- 
mingham as well as imported from the United States. 
Many efforts have been made to keep abreast of the com- 
petition by the careful study of horology and the more 
formal and definite technical instruction in the schools. 
There are, even in the present depressed state of the trade, 
about one hundred and fifty makers in the city. 

The vicissitudes of manufacture are remarkable, and the 
universal introduction of machinery has had a curious 
advantage in enabling manufacturers to change their pro- 
duce by re-arranging their machinery. In Birmingham 
cases have occurred where elaborate and costly machines 
made for producing gun-locks and furniture have, when 
demand has varied and other articles have been required, 
been adapted to turn out, successively, sewing-machines 
and bicycles, and hereafter, when wanted, to supply large 
quantities of any article which can be made wholly 
or principally by complex machines. About twenty 
years ago sewing-machines were made in large quantities 

Coventry. 261 

at Coventry ; but when the market was becoming over- 
stocked and the demand declining, the ' cycle ' rage com- 
menced, and all available machinery, or all new machines, 
were ' adapted ' to satisfy the new demand. The sewing- 
machine industry has, in fact, been swamped by the cycle 
demands, and Coventry now ranks among the principal 
' seats ' of bicycle and tricycle production. The Coventry 
Machinists Company (Cheylesmore) were the first to begin 
the manufacture, and were followed by many others 
' Rudge/ ' Premier,' ' Singer,' * Fleet,' ' Centaur,' ' Meteor/ 
' Excelsior/ ' Wellington/ ' Victoria/ and others, which have 
become famous throughout the cycling world. 

Another very notable manufacture was established about 
thirty years ago the Skid more Art- Works in Metal, which 
was conducted for many years with the help of the late 
William Costen Aitken, whose refined taste, large know- 
ledge, technical skill, and devoted labour, produced some 
of the finest art metal-work of modern days, and whose 
loss, in the best interests of artists and artisans, will ever be 
mourned by all who knew his genius and worth. 

Since the preceding pages were written the discovery of 
an ancient charter by Mr. Walter de Grey Birch, F.S.A., 
has thrown additional light on the early history of 
Coventry, and has helped to confirm rather than to correct 
the details already given. This charter is an Anglo-Saxon 
MS. of King Edward the Confessor to the Abbey of 
St. Mary, Coventry, for the reception of an Abbot and 
twenty-four monks of the Order of St. Benedict, thus 
converting the nunnery into the monastery, as previously 
shown. The other charters that of Leofric (1043), the 
Bull of Pope Alexander (1043), an d tne Conqueror's (1084) 
were known to Dugdale, but he and others had over- 
looked this Anglo-Saxon charter, which was found and 
added to the British Museum two years ago. It is on a 
single sheet of parchment, 9j inches high by 7^ inches 
ride, written in twenty-three lines, with the sharp, upright 

262 History of Warwickshire. 

letters of the period, and with ink (now) of a dark-yellow 
tint, so that it is a remarkable example of eleventh-century 
palaeography. A township certainly existed during the 
Saxon Heptarchy ; a religious house of nuns was de- 
stroyed by the Danes in 1016 ; and Archbishop yEthel- 
noth, of Canterbury, gave a valuable relic the arm of 
St. Augustine of Hippo in 1022 ; and Leofric founded 
the abbey church on the north of the ' vil ' of Coventry in 
1043, as a Benedictine monastery, which rapidly became 
extremely wealthy and famous. Mr. Birch has issued a 
facsimile of the newly-found charter, and has added a 
translation into English, the substance of which is that : 

' Eadward, King, greets Edsie, the Archbishop, and all 
my bishops, abbots and earls, thagnes and sheriffs, and all 
my faithful men kindly. Every man it behoves very 
rightly to love and to highly honour our Lord God, and 
earnestly and unanimously to follow God's laws, and dili- 
gently to incline to alms deeds, whereby he may release 
himself from the bonds of sin. . . . For which necessary 
things I make known unto you all that I grant with full 
permission that the same gift which Leofric the Earl and 
Godgyuae have given to Christ and His dear Mother and 
to Leofwin, the abbot, and to the brethren within the 
minster at Coventry, for their souls to help, in land and 
in water, in gold and in silver, in ornaments and in all 
other things, as full and as forth as it stood themselves in 
hand, and as they therewith that same minster worthily 
have enriched, so I it firmly grant. And, furthermore, I 
grant to them also, for my soul, that they have besides full 
freedom, sac [jurisdiction in religious suits], toll [exemp- 
tion from toll], and theam [vouching to warranty], ham- 
socne [power to enforce fines for personal entry, etc.], 
foresteall [power to punish for forestealing], blodwite 
[power to fine for assault and bloodshed], weardwite 
[power to maintain watch], and numbrice [power to 
punish breach of the peace]. Now will I henceforward 

Coventry. 263 

that it ever be a dwelling of monks, and let them stand in 
God's peace, and St. Mary's, and mine, and according to 
St. Benedict's rule, under the Abbot's authority. And I 
will not in any way consent that any man take away or 
eject their gifts and their alms, or that any man have there 
any charge upon any things or at any season except the 
Abbot and the brethren to the need of this minster. And 
whosoever shall increase this alms with any good, the 
Lord shall increase for him Heaven's bliss ; and whoso- 
ever shall take them away or deprive the minster of any 
thing at any time, let him stand in God's anger and His 
dear Mother's and mine. God keep you all.' 

The spelling of the name of Coventry is noted by Mr. 
Birch as varied in these early charters. This Anglo-Saxon 
charter has ' Covaentre'e.' In those previously named it is 
1 Countr' ;' while in the Conqueror's charter it is ' Coven- 
trea,' and he thinks that probably the name was derived 
from the early convent of nuns, or from the small river 
near, according to Dugdale's opinion. He further adds 
that the Abbot Leofwin was a near relation of the Earl 
and Countess ; that he was Abbot from 1043 to 1056, when 
he died of fever, brought on by the havoc done to the 
lands of his church by the Norman Conquest. He further 
says that the rights mentioned by King Edward are 
mostly judicial in their bearings, but the Abbot and his 
brethren had ' full freedom,' and were exempt from ' toll/ 
probably the tax of setting forth soldiers, building bridges 
and castles, customary at that time, and more fully 
alluded to in the King's Latin charter. In neither of the 
Latin charters is the name of the Countess Godiva men- 
tioned, and Leofric appears alone as the donor. In this 
Anglo-Saxon charter, however, she is spoken of in con- 
junction with her husband as a benefactor. While it is 
clear that the Earl gave part of the ' vill ' and twenty-four 
manors to the church, it does not seem clear that the 
Countess gave lands of her own, but she certainly gave 

264 History of Warwickshire. 

gold, silver and precious ornaments to the abbey, as 
mentioned by Vitalis, Malmesbury and other chroniclers, 
and to do so literally stripped herself thereof. Did she 
thereby acquire the right of * freedom ' granted in the 
charter so that the Earl, as stated in the Coventry legend 
(mentioned by Dugdale), exclaimed : 

' I, Luriche, for love of thee, 
Doe make Coventree toll free '? 

This Anglo-Saxon charter is certainly very curious and 
interesting as an example of an early grant, as giving 
quaint details of the form of devotion, as a Collection of 
Anglo-Saxon words, now almost forgotten except by the 
learned few, as a picture of the pious deeds of eight 
centuries ago, and more especially as a scrap of genuine 
history, which helps to clear the character of Leofric from 
the libel that he was a ' thankless churl,' and to show that 
his relations with Godiva were far too tender and chivalrous 
to justify the later legend of Godiva's heroic devotion to 
the deliverance of the city from an odious tax the story 
which chroniclers and poets have delighted to tell, and 
which must surely now be numbered among the baseless 
fables of the past. 

BIRMINGHAM, the chief city of the county, has but little 
written history before the great Norman survey, the 
famous Domesday Book, in which its description indicates 
a place of considerable importance. The origin of its name 
has long been warmly contested, and even the one hundred 
and thirty-two forms of spelling, collected from old docu- 
ments, have helped to ' darken counsel/ Dugdale guessed 
that the final * ham ' the Saxon for home denoted that 
the name of some Saxon owner was the origin of the 
prefix. Hutton guessed more wildly, and supposed that 
the word was really Broom (broom), wych (dwelling), 
and ham (home), ignoring the Domesday spelling of 
Bermingeham (Bermingha). Dugdale was more nearly 

Birmingham. 265 

right, and modern researches have now practically settled 
that a tribe or family of ' Beorm/ or ' Berm/ gave the early 
Saxon name. The name has had many mutations, but all 
the earlier examples confirm the present form, while the 
familiar and cynical ' Brummagem ' dates only two centuries 

The Domesday record gives : ' Richard holds of 
William (Fitz Ansculf) four hides in Bermingha. The 
arable employs six ploughs : one is in the demesne. There 
are five villeins with four bordars, with two ploughs. 
Wood, half a mile long and four furlongs broad. It was 
and is worth twenty shillings. In the time of Edward the 
Confessor it was held by one Uluuine ' (Ulwin) ; and the 
place was certainly of some importance in Saxon times, 
since William de Bermingham, in 1309, proved that his 
ancestors held a market there before the Conquest. The 
theory of Stukeley, that the town was the Roman ' Breme- 
nium ' has long since been abandoned, and Richard of 
Cirencester's ' Bremenium ' was certainly not Birmingham, 
although the Ikenield Street, which runs through the west 
of the city to Lichfield, might have had a Roman station 
near. A castle, or more probably a fortified manor-house, 
was built by Peter de Birmingham about 1154, and a 
moat and some traces of old walls remained till 1821. 
No church is mentioned in Domesday Book, but some 
early stonework, discovered in rebuilding St. Martin's 
Church, showed that probably a church existed before the 
Conquest. Fairs were established in 1166 and in 1251; 
and the town appears in a curious manuscript map (circa 
1286-1300) in the Bodleian Library, with a church 
clearly marked and houses also, while many neighbouring 
towns nominally of greater importance are omitted, and 
' Brymingha' ' is given as the name, although Coventry 
and Warwick are neither indicated nor named. The 
De Birminghams of Ireland are described by Dugdale 
as of the Birmingham family, but the local connection 

266 History of Warwickshire. 

ended with the tragic murder of Edward de Birmingham 
in 1545, 

In 1285 a Priory was founded, but few traces of it have 
been preserved except in street-names, and its history is 
very vague. At the Dissolution (1545) it was valued at 
8 8s. iod., and dissolved, and the exact site of the build- 
ing is uncertain. The mother church (St. Martin's) is 
doubtful as to its date, but in the recent restoration, or, 
rather, rebuilding, Norman remains were found, and it 
contains several important altar-tombs of the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries, and its registers are very well 
preserved, and date from 1 5 54. Another church, St. John's, 
Deritend, has a remarkable history. It is a chapel, in 
Aston parish, and was described by Leland as c a propper 
chappell ' in 1538, when it was a picturesque early English 
building, pulled down and rebuilt in hideous Georgian 
brick a hundred years ago. It was founded in 1375 by 
thirteen of the inhabitants, who, on account of floods, were 
sometimes unable to reach the mother church at Aston, 
and who raised a handsome endowment of land producing 
ten marks (6 135. 4d., and now 450) the original 
Charter of Richard II. and the Licence in Mortmain (1381 
and 1383) being now preserved in the Reference Library. 
The chaplain was, and is, elected by household suffrage 
male and female and in the present year (1889) a fierce 
contest was continued for more than a month in thorough 
electioneering style, finally limited to two candidates and 
one day's polling an old usage which will probably be 
known no more. 

The Gild of the Holy Cross, founded in 1382, to maintain 
two priests in the church of St. Martin, was, ten years 
later, formed into a ' fraternitie ' of men and women in the 
name of 'the Bailiffe and Communaltie of Birmingham 
and other adjacent places for a Chantrie of Priestes, and 
services in the Church for the souls of the Founders and all 
the Fraternitie,' and for other more secular work ; but in 

:54S tne lands were seized by the Crown, and in 1550 were 
given by Edward VI. for the ' Free Grammar School of 
King Edward the Sixth, for the Education and Instruction 
of Children in Grammar for ever.' The lands, then valued 
at 3 1 2s. iod., have been the endowment of the famous 
school, the income of which was 21,983 in 1880, and 
will probably rise to 50,000 before this century ends. 

LelancTs description of his visit to the town in 1538 is 
graphic and picturesque : ' I came through a pretty street 
or ever I entred into Bermingham towne. This street, as 
I remember, is called Dirtey (Deritend). In it dwell 
smithes and cutlers, and there is a brooke that divideth 
this street from Bermingham and is a hamlett or member 
belonging to the Parishe thereby. There is at the end of 
Dirtey a propper chappell and mansion house of tymber 
hard on the rype (bank) as the brooke runneth down : 
and as I went through the forde by the (foot) bridge the 
water ranne downe on the right hande, and a few miles 
belowe goeth into Tame ripd dextrcl .... The beauty of 
Bermingham, a good markett towne in the extreame parts 
of Warwike-shire, is one streete going up alonge, almost 
from the left rype of the brooke, up a mean hille by the 
length of a quarter of a mile. I saw but one Paroche 
Church in the towne. There be many smiths in the town 
that use to make knives and all mannour of cutting tooles, 
and many loriners that make bittes, and a great many 
naylors. Soe that a great part of the towne is maintained 
by smithes, whoe have their iron and sea-cole out of 

This description of the town is minute and careful. 
The ' mansion house of tymber ' still remains now as an 
inn, the ' Old Crown ' House and, nearly opposite, other 
half-timber houses of the same period still exist. The 
' propper chappell ' survives in an ugly brick building, but 
the descriptions of the various trades are no longer exact, 
since ' cutlrry ' has gone to Sheffield, ' bittes ' to Walsall, 

268 History of Warwickshire. 

and ' naylors ' are located around Bromsgrove and Hales- 
owen. The most remarkable change is that the surface 
has been greatly altered, the course of the river turned, 
and the swampy, low ground of Deritend covered with 
buildings, while the river has long lost its rural beauty as 
Drayton's ' lively tripping Rea/ and is now a thin and dirty 
stream, and the watercourses which supplied the mills 
have long ago been diverted, dried up, or covered with 
shops and houses of last century date. 

In 1642 Charles I., on his way to Edge Hill, had been 
the guest of Sir Thomas Holte at Aston Hall, near 
Birmingham, a fine seventeenth-century building, now, with 
part of its great park, the property of the Corporation of 
Birmingham, as a museum, gallery and public park. The 
townsmen were on the Parliamentarian side, and Sir 
Thomas Holte was unpopular, so that the Hall was 
cannonaded for three days, and some of the balls and 
broken balustrades remain as relics. In the next year 
(1643) the fiery Rupert stormed through the town after 
a brilliant defence by barricades in Deritend, and fired and 
plundered eighty houses, and left the town with heavy 
losses of life and limb, including the Earl of Denbigh. 
The historian Clarendon, with these facts before him, 
described Birmingham ' as of great fame for hearty, wilful- 
affected disloyalty as any town in England,' and the town 
had supplied the Parliamentary army with 15,000 swords, 
and was more hostile than ever after Rupert's ' Burning 

The latter half of the seventeenth century was a remark- 
able era in the history of the town. The extravagances 
of the Restoration times increased the demand for many of 
its manufactures, and the demand for fire-arms soon began 
to develop into an important trade. As a modern town 
without the dead weight of ancient corporation customs 
and rules, it become a ' city of refuge ' for reformers of all 
sorts, and a free town for all sorts of manufactures. The 

Birmingham. 269 

1 five mile ' and similar Acts drove many worthy and 
able men out of corporate towns, and in Birmingham they 
found more elbow-room and more free air, and thus the 
energies and industries of the town were largely and rapidly 
increased. These causes continued to develop the town 
in the next century, and the fullest development was 
reached in the latter part of the last century, when manu- 
factures of all sorts, especially of hardware, iron, brass, 
steel, etc., became almost beyond count. A large part of 
this prosperity was caused by the letting of large portions 
of land on long leases at low ground-rents, whereby 
encouragement was given to the building of houses and 
workshops all over the centre and the immediate suburbs. 
Early in the century the process of cotton-spinning by 
machinery had been tried by Lewis Paul and John Wyatt, 
and about 1780 even a cotton-mill was erected, but proved 
an unsuccessful speculation, and was turned into a metal- 
rolling mill, which still remains at work. The greatest of 
all, however, was the establishment of the famous Soho by 
Matthew Boulton in 1763. His original business as a 
* toy-maker ' the buckles, sword-hilts, brooches, etc., gave 
Burke's famous phrase, ' the toyshop of Europe ' had 
increased rapidly through Boulton's unbounded enterprise, 
energy and taste, and when James Watt, almost in despair 
that he could not get his new steam-engine carefully and 
accurately made, came to Soho, the success of the steam- 
engine was secured. The partnership lasted for many 
years. Boulton was no mean mechanic, as his coining 
machinery showed, but Watt, with all his genius, was not 
a business man, and would have failed like so many other 
inventors without Boulton's help. Soho is now lost to 
sight, but its memory will ever be honoured. It was one 
of the first and greatest of English workshops. It was 
planned and completed on a magnificent scale. Boulton, 
as Boswell records, said : ' I supply here what all the world 
desires to have Power.' Through years of dangerous and 

270 History of Warwickshire. 

endless speculation he persevered, and secured large 
fortunes for his partner and himself, and largely helped 
in the general and rapid progress by the inventions and 
machinery which ' enlarged the resources of the country and 
increased the power of man.' 

The social and scientific, as well as the industrial history 
of Soho made Birmingham a famous place a century ago. 
Boulton had set up a standard of mechanical excellence 
previously unknown, and never since surpassed. In his 
personal life, too, he had almost magnetic influence. He 
attracted to Soho and to his own house the most eminent 
men of science from all parts of the world. The ' Soho 
circle ' the Lunar Club was one of the most famous of 
its own, or, perhaps, of any age. Boulton was a native of 
Birmingham, but there were many ' strangers within the 
gates.' James Watt had come from Greenock loaded with 
inventions ; Priestley from Leeds, with his acute brain and 
minute care and the germs of great discoveries, for the many 
advantages which a large town affords. Dr. Darwin the 
famous Erasmus whose merits have never yet had full 
honour, was another of the famous scientists. William 
Murdock, another great inventor, next to, and perhaps 
equal to, Watt himself, if all was known of him, had also 
won his laurels for gas-lighting for houses, and for steam 
on roads. John Baskerville was ' astonishing the librarians 
of Europe ' by his unrivalled paper, type and printing. 
Richard Edgworth and Thomas Day, James Keir, a 
famous chemist, Joseph Berington, the Roman Catholic 
historian, Dr. Withering, the great botanist, Dr. Parr, the 
learned ' Grecian,' John Wyatt, the ingenious mechanic, 
Edmund Hector, the schoolfellow and life-long friend of 
Johnson, were among the friends or guests of Matthew 
Boulton, the heroes of the ' golden age ' of Birmingham 
life in the last century, and the pioneers of the greater 
advances of these later days. 

The progress in the present century has been no less 

Birmingham. 271 

marked in all departments of public, private, social or 
industrial life. At the close of the great wars the town 
suffered as all others did, and popular demands for reform 
of abuses were loudly made. In 1791, the celebration of 
the fall of the Bastille by a public dinner early in the day, 
and with a series of toasts without any Radical or 
revolutionary proposals, was made the pretext for the 
disgraceful and disastrous riots which destroyed many of 
the houses of the most worthy residents, and the meeting- 
houses where Nonconformists worshipped, in a furious zeal 
for ' Church and King/ The saddest and most shameful 
vandalism was in the cases of William Hutton, the book- 
seller, and of Dr. Priestley, the illustrious chemist and 
discoverer, neither of whom had any part in the celebration 
mentioned. Hutton lost all his possessions and almost his 
life, and Priestley lost all his manuscripts, as well as 
apparatus and books the records of his scientific re- 
searches during many years a loss simply irreparable. 
Happily, however, three-quarters of a century later, a 
marble statue has been raised to his memory, showing 
him with lens in hand making his great discovery of 
oxygen in 1775. 

The town was governed by a Court Leet, with a high 
and low bailiff, two constables, a head-borough, two ale 
and two flesh corners, two affeerors, two leather sealers, 
nearly all of whom were officers of the lord of the manor, 
to look after his manorial rights, until the incorporation of 
the town in 1838, and even then there was so long a 
struggle between the ' old ' and the ' new ' that a bailiff was 
elected as late as 1854. In addition to the Court Leet, 
there were six other * rating ' bodies in various districts, 
and the Street Commissioners had the most important 
share. The ceremonies of the Court Leet, the proclaiming 
of the fairs, 'by permission of the lord of the manor/ the 
processions of the members of the Court Leet, and other 
old customs, were continued to a very recent date. For 

272 History of Warwickshire. 

several years after the charter of 1838 the local authorities 
held their own, but finally the Town Council acquired all 
the powers, including the purchase of the markets and tolls 
from the lord of the manor. The new Council adopted as 
a corporate seal the arms of the Bermingham family and 
the motto 'Forward,' but since January, 1889, a city seal 
has been adopted with two supporters, an ' addition ' on 
the shield, and a hand and hammer as a crest. The city 
is now divided into sixteen wards, with 131 polling- 
stations, and a total of sixty-four aldermen and councillors. 
The Council was engaged in no very notable or eventful 
work till the urgent advocacy of the late George Dawson 
induced many of the more educated classes to look upon 
municipal life as a great and honourable duty, and one of 
his famous phrases was, ' Never send a man into the Council 
whom you would not welcome and honour as Mayor.' In 
1875, although much good work had been done, the 'new 
era' began, when Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, whose energy 
and ability had already accomplished much highly import- 
ant work, was elected Mayor. The two great Gas 
Companies were purchased by the town for ,450,000, and 
the Waterworks Company for 54,491, in perpetual 
annuities. The former has provided very large sums in 
relief of the rates, and the latter has supplied large and 
increasing quantities of water without any large profits, 
water being held to be a 'necessary' of life and health to 
be furnished at the lowest rates. In 1875, too, the Artisans' 
Dwellings Act was passed, and this was adopted by 
Birmingham the first applicant to remove large masses 
of unwholesome buildings, and to make a fine broad street, 
on which the numerous and costly buildings have been 
built, with leases of seventy years, which will finally fall to 
the Corporation at a greatly increased value under the 
Improvement Act of 1851. The latest undertaking of the 
Council is the new Assize Courts the Victoria Courts, of 
which the first stone was laid by the Queen assizes having 

Birmingham. 273 

been held since 1884 in the Council House, in two courts 
arranged for the purpose. The Council House has also 
been built at a cost of 150,000, including a room for the 
Council meetings, Mayor's parlour, reception and banquet 
rooms, and all the necessary rooms and offices for the 
Town Clerk, Borough Treasurer, Borough Surveyor, Chief 
of Police, and others. One half of the site originally 
intended for Assize Courts has been used for the offices 
of the Gas Department, and over these is a fine series 
of rooms as a Public Art Gallery, to which many rare and 
valuable works of art, and especially of industrial art a 
great, rich and rare collection by Mr. John Feeney have 
been generously given, and loan collections are formed and 
the Council offers and receives loans from other munici- 
palities from time to time. The Art Gallery was first 
started by a munificent offer of Messrs. Richard and 
George Tangye of 10,000, on the condition that a similar 
sum should be subscribed. The Gas Committee, with the 
approval of the Council, built the Art Gallery, and the 
donations have been used to purchase examples of art of 
fine as well as industrial art of remarkable value. 

Another notable public work, in which the Town 
Council has a large share, is the School of Art. This 
also was first proposed by an offer of 10,000 by Messrs. 
R. and G, Tangye, a similar offer by the late Miss Ryland, 
and a gift of land of about the same value from Mr. Cregoe 
Colmore. The building is one of the latest and best of 
the artistic genius of the late John Henry Chamberlain, 
and is not only perfectly adapted for its purposes in every 
detail of its interior, but is the most graceful and tasteful 
building in the town. While its income is largely derived 
from the fees of students, the Town Council has been the 
first in England to acquire the power of rating, and is the 
first municipality which has accepted the claims of art to 
civic recognition and public support by aid from the rates 
for this Municipal School of Art. 


274 History of Warwickshire. 

Birmingham was not one of the first to adopt the Free 
Libraries Act of 1850, but in 1852 the Council approved 
of the Act, and a poll being demanded, 534 burgesses 
voted for the adoption, and 363 against it, but, although 
there was a clear majority, the proposal was defeated, as 
the Act required two-thirds of those voting to approve. 
The minority was very mixed. The publicans naturally 
did not like such dangerous attractions ; the economists 
objected to any rate, even of a halfpenny in the pound ; 
the Nonconformists stood out strongly on their principle 
of no State-aid from rates ; the religious burgesses feared 
that a public free library would purchase and circulate 
books which they did not like ; and so the Free Libraries 
proposal failed, partly from want of knowledge and interest, 
and partly from interested opposition. It is a curious 
comment on this vote that now the constant question to 
a candidate for a ward is : * Will you vote for a Free 
Library in this ward ?' In 1855 Mr. Ewart amended his 
Act to increase the rate to one penny in the pound, and 
to allow the purchase of books as well as the provision of 
buildings. In 1860 the new Act was adopted, only one 
member of the Council having opposed it, in the interests 
of the ' small house-owner !' The first committee consisted 
of eight members of the Council and eight men of emi- 
nence in literature, science, or art, to arrange for the 
libraries and museums. The rate, originally one penny 
in the pound under that Act, is now by a Local Consoli- 
dation Act absolutely unlimited, and no opposition was 
offered to this, the only example in the kingdom of an 
unlimited rate for literature and art. The rate produces 
.9,500 yearly, and maintains a Reference Library (103,000 
vols.), a Central Lending Library (25,000 vols.), a News- 
room (5,000 readers a day), and three Branch Libraries, 
with 10,000 volumes in each. Nearly 3,000 volumes are 
issued daily. More than 1,000 periodicals and serials are 
supplied. The News-rooms are visited by nearly 12,000 

Birmingham. 275 

readers daily. A disastrous fire in 1879 destroyed the 
Reference Library during its enlargement, but the public 
spirit was aroused, and thousands of pounds were given 
in less than a fortnight, finally rising to .15,000, which 
sum, with that on the insurance of the books, gave 30,000 
for the purchase of books alone, the buildings being raised 
by separate funds. During these ten years no cost nor 
care has been spared to secure the best works of all classes 
which have appeared in catalogues or at auction sales, 
and the Reference Library has now 103,000 well-chosen 
volumes for all classes, creeds, and ranks, down even to 
books for children and books for the blind. The great 
loss of the fire was the Staunton Warwickshire Collec- 
tion, already referred to, and the next the Shakespeare 
Memorial Library (which has now been restored, with 
nearly 9,000 vols.). The Library also contains a fine 
Cervantes Collection (formed by the late William Bragge), 
the Byron Collection (275 vols., Richard Tangye), and the 
Milton Collection (182 vols., Frank Wright); and a rare 
and invaluable Birmingham and also Warwickshire col- 
lection of drawings, engravings, manuscripts, and books. 
The Reference Library (only) has been opened since 1875 
on Sundays from 3 to 9 p.m. Six assistants are necessary, 
and five of them are Jews and the sixth a volunteer, no 
officer of the Library being obliged to attend on Sundays 
except by his own free will and pleasure. 

The educational institutions are numerous and impor- 
tant, and mostly of modern date, except King Edward's 
School, founded in 1552, rebuilt in 1707, and again, from 
Barry's designs, in 1833, in the Tudor-Gothic style. In 
1750 branch schools were founded, but closed, as they 
were found to be ultra vires. In 1837 elementary branch 
schools were first established. In 1878, as the Elemen- 
tary Education Act of 1870 had provided for such schools, 
a new ' scheme ' was framed by the Charity Commissioners 
to raise the grade and change the sites of these branch 

1 8 2 

276 History of Warwickshire. 

schools. This has resulted in some important and valu- 
able changes. Fees are now charged, as important revenue 
from the richer classes ; but free scholars, after passing 
examinations, are introduced in large numbers to the 
high schools, and thus there is an open road from the 
elementary schools to the exhibitions and Universities for 
even the poorest children. A high school for girls has 
recently been established, and is developing rapidly as to 
status and numbers, and promises to be one of the fore- 
most schools in the kingdom. Special attention has also 
been devoted to science-teaching and physical training of 
girls as well as boys, so that the high schools have now 
every advantage from laboratories, apparatus, gymna- 
siums, etc. The recent policy of the Board no longer 
self-elected, but really representative is well appreciated, 
and under the new departure and foreseeing management 
the 'old foundation' has taken a new lease of life and vigour. 
Queeris College has grown from a School of Medicine 
in 1828 to an important College of Medicine and Divinity 
since the erection of the present buildings, some forty 
years ago. It was incorporated in 1867, and has class 
and anatomical rooms, libraries and museums, and the 
courses of study qualify for the degrees of B.A., M.A., 
B.C.L., D.C.L., M.B., and M.D., in the University of 
London and the Royal College of Surgeons and the 
Society of Apothecaries. The college was founded by the 
late Rev. Dr. Warneford on the original institution of 
W. Sands Cox, and is now officered to some extent by 
arrangements with the Mason College, which was founded 
by the late Sir Josiah Mason on very broad and far-seeing 
lines, and was opened in 1880. It was founded originally 
as a science college, but literature and languages were 
afterwards added by a supplementary deed. Instruction 
in art as well as science may also be given. As to 
students, there is no restriction as to sex, creed, or birth- 
place. All the governors must be laymen and Protestants, 

Birmingham. 277 

but there is no restriction on teachers as to creed. One 
provision of the trust deed is remarkable and valuable 
that the trustees shall from time to time revise the con- 
stitution of the classes, subjects, and management, so as to 
keep them abreast of the science of the day ; and that 
thus no ' pious founder's ' hand shall check the develop- 
ment of the college by any ancient trusts. 

The Midland Institute is the lineal but matured successor 
of the Mechanics' Institutes of fifty years ago, designed to 
give the masses of the people scientific and literary training 
for moderate payments. It was founded in 1853 by the 
late Arthur Ryland, to give the artisans of the town the 
means of continuing their education after they had left 
school for work. In 1855 the late Prince Consort laid the 
foundation-stone. A special Act was obtained for the 
government of the Institute, and its original programme, 
which was very advanced and comprehensive, has been 
almost fully accomplished. It was divided into two 
sections : General, for subscribers to have reading and 
news rooms, and scientific and literary lectures, etc. ; and 
Industrial, for cheap classes, in which science in all forms* 
should be taught. Afterwards classes for English literature 
were formed, the late George Dawson having volunteered 
a three years' lectureship of a class in English literature, 
which was followed during that term and afterwards by the 
present writer, and later by Mr. Howard S. Pearson, whose 
classes have greatly increased in numbers, and whose 
students have won many honours in examinations for 
literature and history. The head of the Science Depart- 
ment, Mr. C. J. Woodward, was himself a student in the 
Institute, and in many other cases the students have 
developed into teachers, and carried on the excellent work 
on the old lines for the new generation. 

The Institute is now educating more than four thousand 
students in its various studies in the parent and branch 
classes. Its programme has been always to supply any 

278 History of Warwickshire. 

want in any branch of knowledge. In 1860 the fact that 
the Institute was doing the work it had undertaken was 
shown by the returns that 33 per cent, of the students were 
artisans, 33 per cent, shopmen and clerks, and 16 per cent 
women of the same ranks. In 1868 the numbers were 45, 
29, and 21 per cent., and the numbers have continued to 
increase. An anonymous gift of 2,500 led to the estab- 
lishment of classes in the Laws of Health, beginning with 
a class of four hundred students ; and now branch classes 
are established in many of the Board Schools. In 1878 
the handsome and useful buildings designed by the late 
John Henry Chamberlain were commenced, and were 
finished in 1881. The architect had been for fifteen years 
the honorary secretary of the Institute, and he had re- 
founded and extended it with unrivalled energy, judgment, 
and taste. The development was ' truly marvellous/ and 
his colleagues, in mourning his death, recorded that ' he had 
the genius to see the needs of the time and the direction in 
which the Institute could be developed to meet them. The 
wisdom of his counsel, the extent and variety of his know- 
ledge, the grace of his eloquence, and the wonderful charm 
of his personal presence, made him a colleague whom it is 
impossible to replace.' He died very suddenly, after a 
brilliant lecture on ' Exotic Art,' in the hall which he had 
built and decorated ; for to art, in all forms and uses, he 
had given the best years of his illustrious life. 

The Political History of Birmingham became of national 
interest with the Reform Bill agitation of 1830, when the 
town had no representative in Parliament, while many of 
the old boroughs sent two members. Under the leadership 
of Thomas Attwood the famous Political Union was formed, 
public spirit was aroused and organized, and enormous 
meetings, often at a few hours' notice, were held with de- 
termined ardour and ultimate success. Two members 
were assigned to Birmingham in 1832, and in 1868 the 
famous ' three-cornered ' contest occurred. Three members 

Birmingham. 279 

had to be returned, but each voter had only two votes. 
The managers of the Liberal Party ingeniously divided the 
town into districts, and so arranged the candidates that 
three Liberals should be returned. So perfect was the 
scheme, and so complete the organization, and so loyal the 
voting to the instructions how to vote, that all the three 
Liberals were returned. In the Anti-Corn Law agitation 
Birmingham took only a small share, partly through the 
Chartist agitation ; but in the contest for further Parlia- 
mentary reform the people again took an active part. The 
election of the late Mr. John Bright in 1857 without any 
personal attendance was a notable example, and he re- 
mained a member till his lamented death. Excepting the 
Chartist Riots in 1839, when several houses in the Bull 
Ring were burned, the agitations have been conducted 
without physical force. Under the Bill of 1885 seven 
members were assigned to seven districts of the town, and 
one to Aston, which is practically part of the town, 
although legally separate. 

The Industries of Birmingham are far too varied and 
numerous to be even partially described. Every sort of 
article in iron and brass and other metals, from pins and pens 
to torpedoes and engines and machines of almost all sorts, 
is manufactured in Birmingham or within a few miles of the 
centre. ' The Industrial Resources of Birmingham ' in 
1865, when the British Association visited the town, were 
described in a volume of seven hundred pages ; and on 
emother visit of the association, in 1886, Mr. C. J. Wood- 
ward, B.Sc., compiled a careful and elaborate account of 
the changes during twenty years for the ' Handbook of 
Birmingham,' now out of print. The following figures, 
collected by Mr. Woodward, will give some notion of the 
extent, but by no means of the varieties, of the trades. 
The figures give the weights of the Exports of 1885 in tons : 
Bedsteads, 34,976 ; brass and copper ingots and wire, 4,697 ; 
galvanized wire and ware, 11,705; glass, 6,151; hardware 

280 History of Warwickshire. 

and lamps, 110,597; i ron an d metal tubes, 13,570; iron 
wire and sheets, 2,999 ; iron castings, 9,166 ; nails, 18,936 ; 
rolled metal, 7,619; paper and stationery, 9,490 ; machinery, 
hides, and leather, 3,375 tons. The Imports of materials 
are on a similar scale, and the details of the various trades 
would seem incredible if not thoroughly authenticated by 
trustworthy returns. As one example, nearly twenty tons 
of steel are cut up for steel pens every week ; and while 
the best possible steel pens are made and sold at high 
prices, some are made at less than twopence-halfpenny per 
gross (twelve dozens) for foreign markets, and each of 
those is the product of at least eight or nine processes ; but 
they are not supplied in boxes, which would cost more 
than the pens. The larger industries, subdivided to a re- 
markable extent, are : (i) the gun trade, the manufacture 
of all sorts of ' small arms/ military and sporting, not only 
in hundreds of smaller manufactories, but in the small 
arms and the Government factories, on the Springfield 
and Enfield systems, which employ many hundreds of 
men, and are supplied with the most elaborate and costly 
machinery ; (2) the brass-foundry trades, including about 
five hundred manufactories, and employing ten thousand 
artisans in the almost innumerable varieties in which brass 
is used ; (3) the jewellery trade, also of almost infinite 
variety, from the costliest gold and silver work down to the 
cheapest productions, and employing about sixteen thou- 
sand workers, and, like the gun trade, concentrated in one 
special quarter of the town, where every signboard shows 
some subdivision, down even to wedding-rings ; (4) the 
electro-plate trade, which is rivalled only by Sheffield, and 
employs more than two thousand in the various depart- 
ments of the manufacture of articles, and the separate 
works which in many cases ' plate for the trade '; (5) the 
button trade, including all sorts of buttons pearl, bone, 
glass, metal, and cloth-covered and employing six thou- 
sand workers, and one of the oldest and most important 

Birmingham. 281 

trades ; (6) the steel pen trade, carried on by nineteen 
firms, employing more than three thousand six hundred 
girls and five hundred men and women in the machine- 
work, and cutting up sixteen to eighteen tons of steel, pro- 
ducing eight tons of pens, every week furnishing, in fact, 
the largest part of the pens of the world. These are the 
principal trades, and also the oldest ; but during the last 
forty years other trades have been established, and have 
extended to vast works. The Mint of London did not 
supply the whole of the bronze coinage, and the old firm 
of James Watt and Co. (Soho Foundry) supplied bronze 
and copper coin from 1860 to 1866 weighing 3,317 tons, a 
million of pieces being struck and packed in one day ; and 
R. Heaton and Sons also supplied a similar quantity, and 
in 1872 silver blanks, to be ' coined' in the London Mint, 
to the nominal value of ; 1,000,000, in less than six months. 
The use of hydraulic power for lifting and pressing and 
cutting has enormously grown in thirty years. The Corn- 
wall Works (Tangyes, Limited) now employs more than 
two thousand workmen, and produces enormous quantities 
of hydraulic presses, lifts, etc., for all parts of the world. 
Two other remarkable examples of the usefulness of the 
modern elaborate machinery are found in the automatic 
machine, first invented by James Watt as an amusement in 
his later life. In his ' classic garret ' at Heathfield, near 
Birmingham, he adapted the familiar draughtsman's 'panto- 
graph' (for enlarging or reducing a drawing), to be used by 
a rotary tool in the place of a pencil, so as to cut out a 
copy of any medal in relief, and finally to copy busts by 
merely mechanical action. This plan was tried later to 
produce gun-stocks and gun furniture at Springfield 
(Mass.), and afterwards at Enfield, and the Small Arms 
Company, Birmingham, with brilliant success. When the 
demand for guns diminished, the machinery was soon re- 
adjusted for bicycle and tricycle fittings ; and in another 
manufactory similar machinery was turned to profit on the 

282 History of Warwickshire. 

works of peace in the manufacture of sewing-machines, and 
afterwards of bicycle and tricycle fittings, most of which 
could be readily, accurately, and cheaply produced by the 
automatic machinery which the octogenarian James Watt 
had invented and used for the reproduction of works of 
art. Another curious example of the newer trades of the 
town is that of metallic bedsteads. In 1849 there were 
only four makers in the neighbourhood, producing about 
400 bedsteads a week ; in 1865 their number had increased 
to twenty, making 6,000 a week ; and now, within a fifteen- 
mile radius (partly in Staffordshire), there are forty makers, 
and a supply of 30,000 bedsteads every week, produced by 
about five hundred workmen only, since comparatively little 
' hand-labour ' is required. Another remarkable local in- 
dustry is the glass trade in its various departments, from 
plate-glass and lighthouses down to chandeliers and table- 
glass, as produced in the famous works of Chance Brothers, 
F. and C. Osier, and other manufacturers, who employ 
some fifteen hundred skilled workers, some of whom are 
experts in dolls' eyes, and others in the artificial eyes 
which are now produced with singular success. The Assay 
Office (the local ' hall-mark ' of the gold and silver trades) 
showed 101,012 assays of 97,618 ounces of gold and 888,391 
ounces of silver in 1885 (respectively 120,019 and 142,148 
in 1876), showing that Birmingham produces a very large 
quantity of gold and silver ware, and that its genuine art- 
work in jewellery is supplied and valued throughout the 

The civic and social growth of Birmingham has been 
remarkable, not only since the enfranchisement of the town 
in 1832 and the incorporation charter in 1838, when a great 
stimulus swept through all classes ; but * the hardware 
village ' developed into an important town full of life and 
vigour, and a new era began. The responsibilities of self- 
government were soon felt, and even from the very first 
many prominent inhabitants took an active part in public 

Birmingham. 283 

work. The Town Council attracted many of the ablest 
men, the burgesses took greater interest in the election of 
representatives, and the Birmingham Town Council has 
won a fame as one of the foremost of the new munici- 
palities ; and the full story of its rise and progress, given 
in two excellent volumes by Mr. J. Thackray Bunce, and 
printed for the Corporation, has attracted many inquiries, 
even from the United States, to examine the history and 
working of so famous and successful an example of high- 
class local government, and so striking a proof of the 
soundness of the representative principle in the good 
government of a large town. Not only has the machinery 
of government been carefully divided and skilfully worked, 
but the general tone of life has been elevated and 
improved, the standard of town life has been raised, and 
private as well as public men have grown more generous, 
and in eleven years (1870-1881) 714,000 was given for 
educational and public purposes, independently of annual 
subscriptions, and of bequests and other gifts of 150,000. 
Warwick as a town has many attractions, but the Castle 
is the most important. The Church of St. Mary has not 
only the grand Beauchamp Chapel and its famous tombs, 
but also some interesting historical memorials in the 
church itself, such as the monument to Sir Fulke Grevil, 
the ' Friend of Sir Phillip Sidney.' The Leicester Hospital, 
too, founded by Elizabeth's favourite, is full of interest as a 
relic of old times. Alcester has more claims to notice than 
space allows, as a Roman station and a picturesque place. 
Ather stone has similar claims, and Mancetter, nearly 
adjoining, is on the line of Watling Street, and has also 
relics of the Roman times. Nuneaton is an important 
town, and once had a priory, founded in Stephen's reign, 
but of which little now remains. Ribbon-weaving is the 
chief industry at Nuneaton, and hats are largely made at 
Atherstone. Sutton Coldfield is a royal borough, and has 
recently had a charter of incorporation. It is a pleasant 

284 History of Warwickshire. 

town, and close to a fine park, given, with many privileges, 
by Bishop Vesey, alias Harman, as already described 
under his name. Kenilworth is a long line of road, broken 
by the terrace of the Abbey Hill, from which the Priory (in 
which some further traces of the Norman church have 
recently been discovered) and a fine view of the Castle can 
be seen. All through the county there are 'pleasant 
places ' and picturesque villages of great interest, but with 
no special history, and whose ' simple annals ' cannot even 
be condensed within the limits of these pages ; but Henley- 
in-Arden, one of the oldest and most picturesque of the 
small towns, deserves a few words. It is first noticed in 
the time of Henry II., when a mill was granted to the 
monks of Wootten-Wawen by Henry de Montfort. After 
the Battle of Evesham the town decayed and was damaged 
by fire, but it was restored and revived. It has the remains 
of a very fine market-cross, but although the exquisitely 
carved capital remains, the figures are almost worn away 
by time and weather. The ' town ' is a long street, with 
very fine old half-timbered houses, and near the main road 
to Stratford is the little church of Beaudesert, whose 
Norman window is one of the county treasures. A 
recently-sold record shows that the Shakespeare Company 
of Players performed at Henley-in-Arden in 1615, the 
year before the poet's death. A few miles nearer to 
Stratford is the church of Wootten- Wawen, which still 
preserves some old books, attached to shelves by chains. 
Mr. John Hannett, the author of the charming volume 
'The Forest of Arden/ now out of print and scarce, 
although an octogenarian, recently issued some ' Notes 
Illustrative of the Early Government of the Old Town of 
Henley-in-Arden, with an Appendix of the Charities ; ' but 
the full story of the old town has never yet been told, and 
a careful examination of some recently-sold documents 
might throw much light on the history of Henley-in- 

Leamington. 285 

LEAMINGTON (or Leamington Priors, as distinguished 
from Leamington Hastings) is too well known to be 
omitted from the record of important towns. Although 
not much known as an ancient town, its lands were noted in 
Domesday Book as * two hides' in extent probably two 
hundred and forty acres and valued at four pounds a 
year. Its sub-name, ' Priors ' (now rarely used), arose from 
its having been granted to the ' Priors ' of Kenilworth. At 
the Conquest it belonged to Turchill, the Saxon Earl of 
Warwick, but was taken from his son, after the Conquest, 
and given to a Norman Baron, Roger de Montmorency, 
afterwards Earl of Shrewsbury. During the next hundred 
years it had various owners, and circa 1166 the son of the 
first and famous Geoffrey de Clinton gave the manor, 
church and mill to the Priors of Kenilworth. At the 
Dissolution it was granted by Elizabeth (in 1564) to 
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and afterwards to 
various owners a large portion to the Aylesford family. 
Its famous ' springs' were known and valued as early as 
1586, and were noticed by Camden, Dugdale, Speed and 
Fuller, but it was not till 1784 that the ' waters ' gained 
extensive fame. Fuller, in his usual facetious style, 
described these as ' two twin springs, as different in taste 
and operation as Jacob and Esau in disposition.' The 
waters had been analyzed by Guidot in 1698, and 
recommended by Dr. Short in 1740 and Dr. Rutty in 1757. 
They were held to be valuable in scorbutic cases, and even 
in cases of hydrophobia. A ' dipper ' was appointed, and 
the virtues of the ' waters ' puffed in the advertisements of 
the day. It was claimed that between 1778 and 1786 one 
hundred and nineteen persons were cured who had been 
bitten by mad dogs! About 1784 the virtues of the 
* waters ' were more seriously praised by Dr. Kerr of 
Northampton, and Dr. Johnstone of Birmingham, and two 
humble but public-spirited inhabitants of Leamington 
Benjamin Satchwell and William Abbott undertook to 

286 History of Warwickshire. 

provide such buildings as were necessary for the use of the 
waters as curative means. The town grew rapidly, and 
became a very fashionable resort, almost rivalling Bath 
and Cheltenham, and although changes of fashion as to 
' spas ' may have affected its further progress, it is still a 
famous ' health resort.' The Leamington waters springs 
and baths on an extended scale are chalybeate, sulphurous 
and saline, useful alike for drinking or bathing, so that 
all sorts of invalids resort to the pleasant and prosperous 
town, and the many historic places Warwick, Kenilworth, 
Stratford-on-Avon, Coventry and others, all within a few 
miles of Leamington. The county has other but less 
famous ' springs ' ; at Ilmington, chalybeate ; at Newnham 
Regis, also chalybeate ; at Southam, at Bishopton, near 
Stratford, but none so important as those of Leamington. 

STRATFORD-ON-AVON is too generally known to need 
much description. It has not merely the grand old church 
on the banks of the Avon, where Shakespeare's remains 
repose, and a chancel and Clopton Chapel of singular 
interest and beauty, but a fine fifteenth-century Gild 
Chapel, an old Grammar School, almost unaltered since 
his school-days, and the hall beneath it in which he saw his 
first play in his childhood, when his father was Bailiff 
and entertained the Queen's and the Earl of Worcester's 
* Players ' in 1569. Stratford has many other attractions 
besides its Shakespearian scenes the home of the Ardens at 
Wilmcote, and of the Hathaways at Shottery, of the Lucys 
at Charlecote, and of the Cloptons at Clopton, and many 
picturesque old houses of the sixteenth century, which have 
been recently ' restored ' by the removal of the plaster arid 
the discovery of the fine half-timber fronts and quaint old 
windows of Shakespeare's days. The Birthplace of 
Shakespeare, 'restored' to its size and form of four 
centuries ago, and with its museum crowded with 
memorials of the poet and his times and its priceless 
treasures of old deeds and drawings and rare and unique 

Sir at ford- on- A von. 287 

books, the modern Memorial Buildings (thanks to the muni- 
ficence of Mr. C. E. Flower), with a fine theatre and art 
gallery, and library full of valuable Shakespeare literature, 
and affording the finest view of the Avon and the church, 
form unrivalled attractions, to which must be added the 
charms of the many picturesque villages all round the town, 
which well repay a pilgrimage by those who care to study 
the ' local colour ' of the pleasant country in which Shake- 
speare passed his earliest and his latest years. 


[This is not given as a complete list, but only as a refer- 
ence to the titles of works used in the foregoing pages, 
and as a guide to those who may wish for further 


(By A. Murray, from 'Agricultural Surveys,' vol. xxxii.) 


(Curious contemporary account of Farms, Crops, etc., 
by J. Wedge.) 

HALL 1885 

(By Rev. Henry Norris, 37 pp. ; a rare and excellent 
History from Private Papers of the Ferrers Family 
and their Ancient Home.) 


('Beauties of England and Wales,' vol. xv.) 


(By Mrs. M. E. Lucy ; a History of the Family, with 
some Original Facts from Manuscripts.) 


(By W. G. Perry ; good, useful little work.) 


(ByJ. E. Bagnall, A. L.S.; valuable account of many years 
of careful and scientific observations.) 

Bibliography. 289 

ETC. 1887 

(By G. T. Clarke, in his great work, 2 vols., on 
' Mediaeval Military Architecture in England.') 


(Two handsome volumes, with Tinted Lithograph 
Plates by A. E. Everitt ; Text by M. H. Bloxam and 
W. Staunton.) 


(Original and valuable account and description of 
Bells and Inscriptions.) 


(Pamphlet, 15 pp., of minute and careful History, with 
Extracts from MSS. and Bibliography of Local Civil 
War Tracts.) 


(By W. A. Cotton ; History of Coinage from the Mint 
at Coventry, ante Edward IV.) 


(By J.ThackrayBunce, F.S.S. ; two volumes I. 368 pp., 
and II. 582pp. full Municipal History, with Statistics, 
Reports of the Growth and Progress of a New Munici- 
pality, and a Sketch of the ' Earlier Government of the 
Town.' The work is * Published by the Corporation ' 
as a record of its work.) 

CHANT MARKS - - 1871 

(By John Fetherston ; Pamphlet Catalogue after the 
Treasures had been examined and arranged, describing 
Documents from Henry II. ; Autograph of Richard III.; 
Leet Book, Henry V. ; Holy Trinity Gild Book from 
thirteenth century, etc.) 


(One of the double-column quarto volumes, with full 
and useful details from Dugdale, and with some few 


(By Pigott and Co. ; early and accurate Record of all 
Towns and Principal Places.) 


290 History of Warwickshire. 


(Photozincograph of Original MS., with Introduction, 
and History of Domesday Book.) 


(Folio copy of Text, with W. Reader's Translation and 
Notes by E. P. Shirley.) 


(Record Commissioners' Report.) 


(Translated into English by W. Reader, Coventry.) 


(Edited by Dr. Thomas, and chiefly remarkable for the 
copies of inscriptions after 1656, and with some cor- 
rections of Dugdale's edition.) Jfc^rww ^ ' '3-*^' 


(A reprint of the edition of 1656, at Coventry, with 
most of the original plates by Hollar, as in the previous 


(This first edition is valuable as a careful record of 
Genealogies, Pedigrees and Lands, with many Views and 
Plans of Towns, Maps of Hundreds, etc., and Etchings 
of Tombs, Monuments, and the Dresses of Monastic 

DUGDALE (SiR W.), LIFE OF - 1827 

(By Wm. Hamper, F.S.A. ; a well-known and highly 
valued work, with Correspondence and Notes from 
family archives at Merevale. Hamper's own copy, 
with 600 extra plates and cuttings, is now in Reference 
Library, Birmingham.) 


(A fine collection formed by the Earl of Aylesford, 
circa 1821 to illustrate Dugdale, is now in the Reference 
Library, Birmingham. It includes Portraits by Vertue 
and others, 174 ; Churches, water-colour- and sepia 
drawings, 310; Castles, Mansions, etc., water-colour, 
422, paged for insertion in volumes, but now arranged 

Bibliography. 291 


(Abridged, but with later authorities, with many addi- 
tions on Agriculture, Commerce, Mines, and Manu- 

SHIRE - - 1877 

(By M. H. Bloxam ; valuable and useful history from 
personal knowledge and research.) 


(By G. A. Walford j account of Battle of Kineton, or 
Edge-Hill, with Plans of Battle.) 


(By Thomas Sharp ; full, careful, and useful Summary 
of Places, arranged Alphabetically, from all the best 


(By George Jabet ; a valuable Paper read to Archaeo- 
logical Section of Midland Institute.) 


(By J. E. Bagnall, A.L.S. ; Results of many years careful 
study and large knowledge ; have appeared in the 
' Midland Naturalist,' and will shortly be issued in a 
volume with plates.) 


(By John Hannett 320 pp., with Map of 'Forest,' 
many excellent Woodcuts and charming Narrative ; 
long out of print and scarce.) 


(Memoirs of Quaker History and Biographies, by 
William White.) 


CODE' -- 

(By W. G. Fretton, F.S.A. ; useful little pamphlet, 
summing up all the most important facts.) 


292 History of Warwickshire. 


(By S. J. Pratt, from his 'Gleanings'; very curious 
and interesting Contemporary History and Descrip- 
tions of Social and Industrial Life, by J. Morfitt, as to 
Birmingham and the County generally.) 


(Illustrations by Cox, Westall, Harding, De Wint, etc., 
and Text by Dr. Blair.) 


(Transfers from the original plates and text, entirely 
new, by James J affray.) 


(By J. Tom Burgess. Memoirs of Principal Events, 
Gunpowder Plot, etc.) 


(4to. volume, with fine line engravings views and 
careful and useful Summary of History.) 


(By William West ; a large volume, with very full and 
elaborate History of Places and People, with copies of 
Old Records, a few Etchings of Towns, and a minute 
Directory of all parts of the County.) 


(By Morris ; principally a Directory, but with much 
useful history.) 


(By White and Co. ; also chiefly Directory of Names, 
but History, Topography, Geology, and Industries very 
useful and carefully compiled.) 

RIAL - 1820 

(By W. Hamper ; History of Memorial Stones [Hoar- 
Stones, Hare-Stones, Maen-Hir] in all parts of Great 
Britain. A unique and curious booklet.) 


(By Sibree and Caston ; a History of the Independent 
(Congregational) Chapels and their Ministers.) 

Bibliography. 293 


(By Rev. E. H. Knowles ; a quarto volume with many 
Plates and Plans illustrating the Military and General 
Architecture of the Castle ; an original, learned and 
valuable work.) 


(An early pamphlet on the newly-found value of the 
Leamington Springs, by Dr. C. Loudon.) 


(By Robert Hopper; History of Leamington Waters, 
Analysis, Uses, etc.) 

CHURCH - 1880 

(By Evelyn P. Shirley ; privately printed History of 
Ettington, or Eatington, the Home of the Shirleys.) 



(By W. Fowler Carter ; four volumes of original papers 
on Genealogy and Archaeology of Midland Counties, 
excellently indexed.) 


(By G. T. Robinson, 56 pp., with valuable History 
and Descriptions.) 


(By E. W. Badger, M.A. ; a monograph which won the 
Darwin Medal : a series of ' rubbings ' of every l brass ' 
with descriptions.) 


(Pamphlet, 14 pp., with History of the Early Govern- 
ment of the ' Old Town,' and Account of its Charities, 
by John Hannett.) 


(Two works of more than merely local interest as to 
Warwickshire and Birmingham, by a learned expert in 
old lore.) 


(Laneham's Letter to his Fellow-' Mercer' in London, 
describing the Pageants at Elizabeth's visit.) 

2 94 History of Warwickshire. 


(By the late M. H. Bloxam ; a Summary of History, 
with Personal Memories of Fifty Years.) 


(By F. C. Colvile ; special and privately printed f fifty 
copies], with Coloured Plans and a few Family Papers.) 

CHASE - - 1860 

(Excellent History of the Town, Forest and Neighbour- 
ing Hamlets, by Miss Bracken.) 


(By ' Venator ;' a record of * Meets ' and ' Runs.') 


(By Cooke ; small but useful volume, with facts not 
previously given.) 


(Ireland's 4to. volume, with Aquatint Engravings, 
but ' history ' and details highly imaginative.) 


(Privately printed [ten copies] by J. O. Halliwell- 
Phillipps, from MS. of Thomas Sharp, burned in 1879.) 


(Small volume, I2mo., 348 pp., by Francis Smith, of 
Southam, with very full Summary of History.) 


(Kelly's 'Post-office Directories' all very carefully and 
completely sum up a mass of historical and contempo- 
rary facts not otherwise procurable.) 


(Harleian Society's issue ; useful to Genealogists.) 


(By B. Richings ; Lives of Glover, Lewis, and others, 
with full' details.) 


(By Mrs. Francis', as to Words used in Tysoe ; from 
English. Dialect Society Series, vol. xii.) 


(By John R. Wise, in * Shakespeare : His Birthplace 
and its Neighbourhood,' with Glossary of Words. 

Bibliography. 295 

TIONS r - 1837-89 

(Series of Records of Excursions and Papers on Geology 
and Archaeology, occasionally with Illustrations.) 


(Warwickshire volume very fully and carefully compiled.) 


(By W. Niven ; Architectural Elevations, with brief 


(Specially Warwickshire ; copies of Black Book of 
Warwick, numerous woodcuts of 'Arms' and Genea- 
logies, edited by John Fetherston.) 


(By Samuel Tymms ; brief, but orderly and excellent 
Survey of Historical Facts.) 


(By F. W. Kittermaster, with woodcuts of Arms.) 


(By Langford and Macintosh, 2 vols., 4to., with plates.) 


(Catalogue of Engraved Portraits, by J. Merridew ; 
very careful, useful, and scarce.) 


(4to. volume, 900 pp., edited by F. S. Colvile, and 
with Special Biographies of Worthies from 1500 to 
1800 by numerous contributors.) 

296 History of Warwickshire. 


[FULL details need not be given as to maps, but all those 
mentioned include the whole county of Warwick, and 
sometimes parts of adjoining counties, and are named in 
the order of date. The earliest map in which Birmingham 
and other parts of Warwickshire are clearly shown is that 
of circa 1286-1300, now in the Bodleian Library, and 
which was photozincographed (and coloured afterwards) 
by the Ordnance Office in 1875. It is remarkable that 
the only Warwickshire town shown is Birmingham, 
Coventry and Warwick even not being marked.] 

Saxton, 1576 and 1603; Janson, 1600; Overton, 1603; 
Speede, 1610 ; Blome, 1670; Ogilby, 1675; Moll, 1680; 
Bowen, 1700; Beighton, 1725; Jefferies, 1740; Bades- 
lade, 1741; Kitchin, 1750; Sayer, 1750; Yates, 1787; 
anonymous, 1795; Smith, 1818 ; Dix, 1820; Greenwood, 
1821 ; Neele, 1840 ; Walker, 1840 ; Crutchley, 1849 J 
White, 1850; Merridew, 1850; and many others, includ- 
ing, of course, the Ordnance Survey on the original one- 
inch and the recent six-inch scale. 

Many of those named have special merits as to details, 
and the list is compiled partly from the writer's own 
collection and partly from that in the Reference Library, 
Birmingham, which also contains a large number of manu- 
scripts, Civil War tracts, pamphlets, views, portraits, etc., 
illustrating the history and topography of Warwickshire. 



Burbage, Richard, 135 
Greene, Thomas, 137 
Shakespeare, William, 137 

Alcester> 283 

Anglo-Saxon graves, 91 

Anglo-Saxon remains, 59 

Antiquaries : 

Archer, Sir S., 118 
Bloxam, M. H., 131 
Dugdale, Sir W., 120 
Ferrers, Henry, 124 
Hamper, William, 125 
Hunt, W. O., 130 
Sharp, Thomas, 127 
Staunton, William, 126 
Wheler, R. B., 128 

Archaeology : 

Earthworks and tumuli, 61 

Place-names, 63 

Roman roads and camps, 55 

Arden, Forest of, 3 

Artists : 

Allen, J. B., 138 
Barber, J. V., 138 
Brandard, R., 138 
Cox, David, 139 
Creswick, Thomas, 139 
Eginton, Francis, 140 
Eginton, Francis, jun., 141 
Garner, Thomas, 142 
Goodyear, Joseph, 142 
Green, Valentine, 142 
Haughton, Matthew, 143 
Haughton, Moses, 143 
Humphreys, H. Noel, 143 
Lines, Samuel, 144 
Pyejohn, 145 
Radclyffe, William, 145 

Artists continued. 

Willmore, J. T., 146 

Wyon, Thomas, jun., 146 
Authors : 

Addison, Joseph, 147 

Carte, Thomas, 148 

Gary, Henry F., 149 

Cave, Edward, 148 

' Eliot, George ' (Mrs. Cross), 149 

Field, Rev. W., 152 

Gallon, Mary Ann, 153 

Holland, Philemon, 154 

Holyoke family, 155 

Hutton, William, 157 

Hutton, Catherine, 158 

Landor, W. S., 159 

Noble, Mark, 160 

Parr, Dr. S., 162 

Priestley, Dr., 162 

Rous, John, 163 

Beauchamp Chapel, 98 
Beauchamp tombs. 101 
Beauchamp Grevill tomb, 103 
Bibliography of Warwickshire, 288-295 
Birmingham : 

Artisans' Dwellings Act, 272 

Boulton, Watt and Murdock, 269 

Castle, 1154, 265 

Civic and social growth, 282 

Court Leet till 1854, 271 

Domesday times, 265 

Early chapel, 1383, 266 

Educational buildings and pro- 
gress, 275 

Fairs, 1309, 265 

First Municipal School of Art, 273 

First Priory, 1285, 266 

Free Libraries, 274 



Birmingham continued. 

Generous donors, 273 

Gild of Holy Cross, 1382, 266 

Grammar School, 1550, 267 

Growth of a ' Free Town,' 268 

Incorporated, 1838, 271 

Leland's visit, r538, 267 

Political history, 278 

Rapid growth of the town, 272 

Riots of 1791, 271 

Rupert's ' Burning Love,' 1642, 268 

Soho works, 269 

The 'Soho Circle,' 270 

Varied industries, 279 
Bishops : 

Bird, John, 164 

Butler, S., 165 

Compton, Henry, 165 

Smalbroke, Richard, 167 

Sumner, J. B., 167 

Vesey, alias Harman, 168 

Willes, Edward, 171 

Castles : 

Astley, 235 

Brandon, 84, 235, 237 

Caludon, 84, 235, 237, 

Coventry, 238 

Kenilworth, 79, 232, 246 

Maxtoke, 81, 233 

Tamworth, 83, 234 

Warwick, 73, 80, 231 
Churches : 

Early, 77 

Lost, ruined, or desecrated, 112 
Coventry : 

Anglo-Saxon charter, 261 

Ford's Hospital, 256 

Grey Friars, 257 

Industrial history, 259 

Leofric and Godiva, 264 

Parliaments, 253 

Ribbons, watches, etc., 259 

Royal visits, 253 

St. Mary's Hall, 256 

St. Michael's Church, 255 

The Charterhouse, 257 

Danish traces, 72 
Deer-parks : 

Arbury, 251 

Arrow, 251 

Aston, 251 

Charlecote, 250 

Clop ton, 251 

Compton Wynyates, 250 

Deer-parks continued. 

Eatington, 250 

Fulbroke, 250 

Kenilworth, 249 

Maxtoke, 251 

Merevale, 251 

Packington, 251 

Shuckburgh, 250 

Stoneleigh, 250 

Sutton Coldfield, 249 

Warwick, 249 

Wedgenock, 249 

Weston, 250 
Dialect : 

Dialect in Shakespeare, 224 

Dialect of Tysoe, 227 

Glossary of 1820, 221 

Glossary of 1 86 1, 221 

Leicestershire parallels, 221 

Pronunciation, 221 

Edge Hill, battle of, 9 
Etocetum, 2 

Famous houses : 

Arbury, 244 

Baddesley Clinton, 88, 236 

Charlecote, 241 

Clopton, 242 

Combe Abbey, 88, 240 

Compton Wynyates, 86, 236 

Coughton, 245 

Eatington, 243 

Guy's Cliff, 241 

Kingsbury, 246 

Merevale, 243 

Pooley, 246 

Ragley, 245 

Stoneleigh, 242 

Warwick Priory, 241 

Weston, 247 

Wormleighton, 247 
Feldon, 3 
Folk-lore : 

Curious customs, 217 

Fairy-lore, 220 

Local history of, 211 

Superstitions, 212 

Witchcraft, 215 

Wroth-money, 217 

General worthies : 

Aitken, W. C.,-2O7 
Arnold, Thomas, 203 
Cart wright, Thomas, 204 
Catesby, Robert, 204 



General worthies continued. 

Chamberlain, J. H., 207 

Croft, William, 204 

Dawson, George, 205 

Hill, Thomas Wright, 208 

Linwood, Mary, 209 

Thomas, William, 209 
Geology, 30 

Coal, 35 

Glacial, 40 

Keuper red marls, 37 

Liassic area, 38 

New Red Sandstone, 33 

Marls, 33 

Permian, 36 

Physiography, 31 

Rocks, 33, 35 
Gunpowder plot, 7, 204 

Henley-in-Arden, 284 

Industrial worthies : 

Boulton, Matthew, 199 
Murdock, William, 201 
Thomason, Edward, 202 
Watt, James, 201 

Judges : 

Anderson, Edmund, 172 
Willes, John, 172 
Wilmot, J. E., 172 

Kenil worth Castle, 79 
Priory, 284 
Revels, 233 
Siege of, 5 
Walter Scott's visit, 233 

Leamington, 285 
Leamington waters, 285 
Legends : 

Godiva and Leofric, 19 

Guy and Phyllis, 17 

Long Compton and Augustine, 21 

Poles worth and St. Edith, 21 

Maps, 296 

Maps, tapestry, circa 1570, 247 

Martyrs : 

Glover, Robert, 174 

Lewis, Mrs., 175 

Palmer, Julius, 175 

Rogers, John, 173 
Military architecture, 77 
Mineral springs, 285 

Norman survey, 73 

Norman castles, 73 ^ 

Nuneaton, 283 

Physicians : 

Ash, John, 176 

Cooke, James, 177 

Grew, Nehemiah, 178 

Hall, John, 179 

Hector, Edmund, 180 

Johnstone, Edward, 181 

Johnstone, John, 181 

Pearson, Richard, 182 

Willughby, Francis, 184 

Withering, William, 183 
Poets : 

Drayton, Michael, 186 

Freeth, John, 188 

Huckell, John, 189 

Jago, Richard, 190 

Jordan, John, 190 

Shakespeare, William, ;QI 

Somervile, William, 197 

Warner, William, 198 

Reform agitation, 15 
Roads, 24 

British, 53 

Fosse-way, 57 

Roman, 2, 54 
Rollright stones, 22, 90 

Sacheverell, Dr., 14 

Saxon and Danish remains, 69 

Sepulchral monuments, 90-94 

Sepulchral brasses, 95 

Sepulchral memorials, 99 

Shakespeare and Stratford, 193 
in London, 195 
Handwriting, 195 
Portraits, 1 08 

Stratford-on-Avon : 

Birthplace and New Place, 286 
Church, 105, 286 
Gild Chapel, 286 
Grammar School, 286 
Memorial theatre, 287 
Shakespeare's bust, 108-111 
Shakespeare's monument, 109 
Shakespeare's grave, 106 
Shakespeare's daughters, 107 
Shakespeare's portraits, 108 

Button Coldfield, 283 

Tamworth Castle, 83 

Temple Balsall, hall and church, 239 



Warwick : 

Castle, 73, 80, 83 

St. Mary's Church, 98, 103 

Beauchamp Chapel, 98 

Beau champ Chapel tombs, 101 

Woodland, 3 

Zoology and Botany : 
Algae, 51 

Beasts, birds and reptiles, 45 
Ferns, 49 
Fishes and molluscs, 47 

Elliot Stock, Paternoster Row, London.